Friday, December 19, 2014

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Turkish Cultural Center Donates $50,000 To The Queens Library

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TWC News: Turkish Cultural Center Donates $50,000 To The Queens Library
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The Queens Library took a big hit from Hurricane Sandy, but it's getting some help in its recovery. NY1's Agnes Chung has the story.

The Queens Library had four of its community libraries on the peninsula suffer massive damage during Hurricane Sandy.

"There was so much water in the libraries, about 4 to 5 feet of water," Queens Library President Thomas Galante said. "It washed out the whole facade. Books were floating down the street."

Galante said the libraries lost $2 million in books. Total damage costs are estimated to be around $7 million.

To help, several Turkish-American organizations presented a check for $50,000 to Queens Library Friday.

The event took place at Queens Library at Far Rockaway -- one of the libraries that kept safe during the storm.

"It wasn't only the people who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, many community centers such as public libraries, hospitals, schools were affected as well," Turkish Cultural Center NY Vice President Mehmet Kilic said. "These facilities serve the community at large so that's why we wanted to make a contribution to Queens Library."

"Today's event was actually a testimony to the understanding that we would be there not only for a good day," Levent Bilgen, the Turkish Consulate General for New York said. "But in dire circumstances, that we can join forces."

Congressman Gregory Meeks helped facilitate the donation process. He recalled the time he spent after school at the library fondly.

"We would borrow tapes at times and music," Meeks said. "The library was the center and is the center of the community. And it was for me."

The community library provides many more resources than just the books it holds. Library officials say they made an effort to stay present in the areas hardest hit by Sandy.

"Since the storm hit, we focused on also shifting a lot of borough-wide resources here," Galante said. "We have youth counselors, teen counselors, social workers, case workers that work with people through various programs that we offer.

For those who want to donate, go to

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