Just as millions of immigrants did when they arrived in Brooklyn from Italy, recent arrivals like Salvatore Randazzo and Lin Chen and Mannes Francois and 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, language and customs.
But unlike our decades ago immigrant parents and grandparents, the families of Francesco of Italy and Lin of China and Mannes of Haiti and Ivan of Odessa and Jacinta of Ecuador have been 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 multi-cultural 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 has been providing needed social services in our offices. Teachers and staff daily 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, inter-culture awareness and preservation, with such activities like the Annual Brooklyn Columbus Parade, Multi-Cultural 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 has 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 currently provided and to outreach to more residents in need.
With its technologically advanced offices and classrooms, leading edge fitness facility, epicenter gymnasium, breath-taking sixth floor swimming pool, and elegant event space, Il Centro provides the entire community greater opportunities in services, in health and wellness, in education and in promoting unity in our multi-cultural society while perpetuating the highest ideals of Americanism.