2013-02-08 / Community

Local’s Big Heart at‘Flea Market’

By Katie McFadden


Marissa Bernowitz with ‘Mama’ Rose and Ilisa Berkowitz serving up clothing, supplies, hot food, can goods, comfort and caring. (Photos by Dan Guarino) Marissa Bernowitz with ‘Mama’ Rose and Ilisa Berkowitz serving up clothing, supplies, hot food, can goods, comfort and caring. (Photos by Dan Guarino) While many Sandy relief efforts have wrapped up three months after the storm, Rockaway resident Marissa Bernowitz is determined to continuously help the community as she recognizes that many Rockaway residents still need basic assistance. To do this, she runs a “Free Flea Market” every Saturday to provide residents with basic necessities.

At Bernowitz’ “Free Flea Market,” residents can find a surplus of clothes, canned food, hot food, baby items, care bags stuffed with goodies and much more, all for free. “We’re the free Supermarket,” Bernowitz said, noting that Waldbaums is still closed and Stop & Shop is too expensive for many.

The Free Flea Market is backed with support from groups such as YANA, Occupy Sandy, UWSLoves, BK Girls Give Back and more. “People from everywhere bring us stuff,” she said of the donations. Bernowitz herself was affected by Sandy. Like many, her home was severely flooded. She’s now displaced and living in Richmond Hill, but she stays with her mother in Rockaway while preparing for and operating the flea market. She started helping the community the day after Sandy hit and she’s determined to keep going. Bernowitz is so dedicated to the effort that she gave up her day job so can prepare for the flea market each weekend.

She plans to continue to run the Free Flea Market every Saturday through February and into March, but she’ll prolong the efforts if necessary. “If there’s still a need, I’ll keep going,” she said.

The Free Flea Market is open on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 110- 02 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, with the exception of this upcoming Saturday. The flea market will be open on Sunday, February 10th due to the weather. The location is subject to change and there’s one other particular Saturday that the flea market won’t be in operation -- March 2nd due to Rockaway’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. You can follow Marissa on Twitter- just search: @MJ_ Bernowitz

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