2014-03-28 / Community

Bernowitz: A Woman Of Distinction

A local woman is being recognized for her endless post-Sandy work. State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. is honoring Marissa Bernowitz for her dedication to disaster relief by inducting her as a Woman of Distinction into an Albany exhibit filled with other honorable women.

As part of Women’s History Month in March, the New York Senate started an exhibit that honors New York women who have significantly and notably excelled in arts, science, government, military labor, education and social reform. Senator Addabbo found Bernowitz to be a good fit for such an honor.

“The Women of Distinction exhibit singles out just a few of these extraordinary people as an example of women’s achievements that continue to this very day,” Senator Addabbo said.

Following Hurricane Sandy, Bernowitz immediately stepped up to the plate and became a disaster relief volunteer coordinator. She continues to serve her community and others who are struggling after the storm. One of her most notable acts is starting Rockaway’s Free Flea Market in January 2013. Bernowitz and a team of dedicated women work to rent trucks, transport supplies and store and distribute them to those in need through the flea market.

Bernowitz volunteered her time to help others despite dealing with loss herself. She lost her apartment and job to Sandy and still remains displaced with her two sons, but she focused her energy on helping those around her and continues to do so. She used social media to reach out to others communities that weren’t recovering Sandy so that outsiders could bring help.

Bernowitz also helps with FEMA paperwork, getting people into the Disaster Case Management and CAN system and signing people up for other community services. She also volunteers as director of the Queens Division for We Care NY.

“It seems like Marissa’s work never ends. Although Sandy really took a toll on the community, it highlighted Marissa’s unconditional love for her neighbors,” Senator Addabbo said. “Her tireless efforts are an example of what brought us back to life after we suffered such heartbreak.”

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