New York, New York. The city that never sleeps. The capital of the world. The concrete jungle where if you make it here, you make it anywhere. But across the bridge from the hustle and bustle and the glamour and fame of midtown Manhattan lie an area called Long Island City, Queens. An area struggling to stay on it’s feet where the helpless and needy, the worn and torn seek to find hope.An organization in Long Island City is determined to serve not only this community but also this monstrous metropolitan area. They’re known as Bayanihan and serving the community is in their DNA. From the tourist that flock here from around the world to the residence that hustle and bustle throughout the city. Their presence has impacted hundreds of people not just in Long Island City, Queens but the New York Metropolitan Area.
Bayanihan is a Seventh-Day Adventist operated church and community center. It was first established in 1995 in Manhattan, New York. For many years, they rented space in various locations. However, in 2003, they were able to acquire a used building located in Long Island City, NY just 5 minutes away from midtown Manhattan. However for 69 years, the building structure has had a long eventful life. From a lowly funeral home to an overcrowded Portuguese congregation, from several break-ins and vandalism, the building and its occupants have been beaten to the ground with antiquated life-support systems, an ever-growing population, and the diminishing image of its positive influence on the community. As a close-knit organization, and in spite of all the problems that surrounded them, they have turned to one of the fundamental ideas of they’re fathers and forefathers, the very idea that set this organization in stone: Bayanihan. With all of them working together, they can do great things. Bayanihan is a Filipino term taken from the word bayan, referring to a nation, country, town or community. Bayanihan refers to a spirit of communal unity or effort to achieve a particular objective. It is a common tradition in Filipino villages, where members of the community literally carry a family’s house, on their shoulders, to another location.
Not too long after, the city of New York signed a petition to begin construction in the Long Island City Area. The city saw great potential in the area to become the city’s next business hub and plans were unveiled to restore this prime real estate into a masterpiece. Long Island City is to be the future of New York City. Today, there is a resurgence of economic development in the area. However as Long Island City brightens, the organization’s building still lies in ruins. And so, Bayanihan decided to launch a rebuilding project. The Bayanihan Development Project was born. The Bayanihan Development Project is dedicated to the restoration of the Bayanihan building.
They acquired this building almost ten years ago and saw great potential because of its location and the area’s future. But because of it’s age, the building is deteriorating. Some of the problems they face are people freezing during the winter and melting during the summer. In a new building with a central air system, it will help keep everyone at a neutral climate 4 seasons a year. Safety hazards of the building include overcrowding due to they’re rapid growth over the years. In the new building there will be 50 percent more occupancy in the 1st and 2nd floors and 60 percent more space in the basement. Also because of rapid growth of newborn babies in they’re organization and no where to place them during programs, they have developed something called BSS, “Baby Surround Sound.” With a new Mothers room, all the BSS will be conveniently eliminated. When it rains, there are times when the ceiling would sogg and break and plumbing malfunctions occur. And of course there are health hazards associated with that. With a new building complex they will be able to eliminate all these problems. That’s why they are partaking in a one million dollar renovation project.
With this kind of project involving only a couple hundred people, it is very difficult to raise this amount of funds in a short amount of time. And with the high cost of living in New York City and today’s economy, circumstances like these make it even harder to succeed in a fundraising effort. And so, they decided to do things a bit differently. With 7 billion people in the world and the rise of social media in the internet, they have decided on a strategy that involves less money but more people. They’re “one million people for one million bricks” campaign is a totally different way of approaching a building fundraising project. Back in the day, involving one million people required a vast amount of energy, time, and activity. Today, it can be possible with just one click of a button by anyone, anytime, and anywhere in the world. How much is a dollar nowadays? A bag of potato chips? A tip for the subway musician? Now, people can choose to invest just that one dollar in something that continues to serve others year after year for this generation and the next.
In summary, after almost 10 years of changing lives and molding people for a better community, they need a new building complex. The building is in need of critical repairs and countless modernizations. Bayanihan’s vision is a one million dollar renovation project and they would like one million people all over the world to be a part of it because they believe in working together. Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results because like in Bayanihan, many hands make light work. Each brick can make a difference and lead them closer to our goal. With all of us working together, we can do great things. The Bayanihan Development Project is dedicated to the restoration of the Bayanihan building. and the building intended to bring support, aid, and service to the ever-growing community of Long Island City and the New York Metroploitan area. With your help, this building can benefit all who seek need. In Bayanihan, they don’t just promote God, they promote a lifestyle. And they believe that God has held them responsible to help the people in Long Island City and the New York Metropolitan area. They will continue to serve year after year from this generation to the next because after all, all of us have a time limit here on earth and our lives is not what we’ve created, but what we’ve left behind. Join Bayanihan, as they change a building. As they continue to make change for a better community. As they continue to change for a better world, one person at a time.