Just as millions of immigrants did when they arrived in Brooklyn from Italy, recent arrivals like Salvatore Randazzo, Lin Chen, Mannes Francois, Ivan Riechek, and Jacinta Sapatanza spoke no English, didn’t have a job, were separated from immediate family by continents and oceans, and were afraid of new cultures, a new language and customs.
But unlike our decades ago immigrant parents and grandparents, the families of Francesco of Italy, Lin of China, Mannes of Haiti, Ivan of Odessa, and Jacinta of Ecuador were helped in their quest for the American dream by the programs and support provided by the Federation of Italian American Organizations of Brooklyn.
Since 1976 FIAO, a not for profit charitable community service organization, has been a leader in bridging the rich diversity of our multicultural communities by delivering FREE programs and services to help improve the quality of life for all children, youth, families and seniors.
Family workers and counselors provide needed social services in our offices. Teachers and staff serve thousands of young participants’ development in more than twenty after school programs with academic enrichment, cultural arts and recreation. Volunteers continue to facilitate neighborhood improvement, community alliance building, senior enrichment initiatives, and inter-culture awareness and preservation, with such activities like the Annual Brooklyn Columbus Parade, Multicultural Celebrations, Thanksgiving Food Drives, Holiday Toys and Clothing Distributions.
With its long tradition of success in supporting and enriching lives with FREE quality services and programs, FIAO built Il Centro, a modern state-of-the-art cultural community center in Southern Brooklyn. Il Centro is the focal point of the wide range of services provided and the continued outreach to the always expanding local community.
With its technologically advanced offices and classrooms, leading edge fitness facility, epicenter gymnasium, sixth floor swimming pool with a breathtaking view, and elegant event space, Il Centro provides the entire community with greater opportunities in services, in health and wellness, in education and in promoting unity in our multicultural society while perpetuating the highest ideals of Americanism.