On Saturday February 9, 2019, dozens of people will join the Bronx Polar Bears for a dip into the brisk waters of Orchard Beach in the Bronx. As with the 2018 event, this year’s plunge will help BronxWorks and BronxNet bring awareness to the issue of homelessness, particularly street homelessness. Participants will bring new socks, gloves, hats and other items to donate to BronxWorks. Others who are unable to participate in the plunge are encouraged to do the same and can view a link on the BronxWorks website for additional information: http://www.bronxworks.org/dip-against-homelessness.
Many factors may lead to individuals becoming homeless, including traumatic experiences, mental or emotional conditions, alcohol or substance abuse, and prolonged joblessness. Homeless men and women struggle to find a warm and safe place where they can lie down for a night’s sleep. Deep sleep, which is essential to good health, is impossible and safety is often a concern.
Each year the BronxWorks Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) makes thousands of contacts with street homeless men and women, often providing them with a trip to their Living Room/Safe Haven or a safe bed at a church that collaborates with BronxWorks. “For the fourth consecutive year, we gather on a cold winter’s day with community members to take a dip and show support for our most vulnerable neighbors,” stated BronxWorks Executive Director, Eileen Torres. “We are thrilled to partner with BronxNet and the Bronx Polar Bears as we continue this fun and worthwhile event.”
Since 2011, the Coney Island Polar Bears and other participants have joined the Bronx Polar Bears for the fun, healthy weekend plunge. BronxNet partners with other organizations to organize the event and presents the activities on BronxNet channels. “We are pleased to work with BronxWorks again to highlight issues of homelessness and to encourage everyone to participate in the solutions. Thank you also to NYC Department of Parks, the NYC Fire Department, and our friends the Coney Island Polar Bears for teaming up with the Bronx Polar Bears and participants from near and far to help make this fun and meaningful event possible," said BronxNet Executive Director and Bronx Polar Bears Event Founder Michael Max Knobbe.
The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. with safety tips from the lifeguard team and words of inspiration from some Bronx leaders followed by the plunge at 12:00 noon. Music will be provided by Uptown Vinyl Supreme, the Bronx-born DJ collective that pays homage to the analogue roots of music, party and dance culture. Participants will warm up after the plunge with hot soup provided by Havana Cafe.
BronxNet is the independent not-for-profit organization serving the people of the Bronx through the provision of media production training, access to technology, and cable television channels, workforce development and the production of TV programs that contribute to community development. BronxNet programs six channels – 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and 38 on the Verizon FiOS system and four channels – 67, 68, 69 and 70 – on the Optimum system in the Bronx.
Founded in 1972 as the Citizens Advice Bureau, the mission of BronxWorks is to help individuals and families improve their economic and social wellbeing. From toddlers to seniors, BronxWorks feeds, shelters, teaches, and supports our neighbors to build a stronger community. To learn more about BronxWorks, visit its website at www.bronxworks.org.
Director of Training & Special Projects | BronxNet Television