Feed the Hungry, Get a Raffle Ticket and up to $20 Off at the Firefly

Island Harvest Logo

Island Harvest Food Drive at the Firefly

The fact is, 1 in 11 children and so many others on Long Island live with food insecurity. Gratefully, our Fireflies are committed to doing what they can to help. Please bring non-perishable food or hygiene items to The Firefly Artists, 90 Main St, Northport, between now and New Year’s Eve.

There are 10 days left in our food drive, which is part of the Island Harvest Turkey & Trimmings Campaign. We’d really love to fill this box we have in the gallery, and hope you will help! It’s easy, especially as we are in one of the best places for last minute gift shopping, and we and at least a few neighbors will be open late to better serve your needs! Cash donations to Island Harvest are also welcome.

In thanks for your donation, you’ll get a raffle ticket to win a matted print or “Red” by Katheryn Laible or “Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn” by Steve Caputo. We’ll also give you $20 off any single purchase over $200.

Thank you for all you do to support our communities!

Left; Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn by Steve Caputo. Right: Red by Katheryn Laible

Rising Eagle: Please Join Max in Serving the Nassau Museum of Art

Photo of Max Laible at the Nassau Museum with one of his favorite sculptures.

An Eagle Project is one last adventure in a decade-long journey. Max, here, is leading creation of a fence, educational kiosk and model native plant garden that will serve as an enriching gateway to newly restored grasslands at the Nassau County Museum of Art.

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Can You See the Light? Health & Human Services Report from Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds

Head shot of Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, CEO, Family and Children's Association, 2023

I was glad to see this major force for Human Services doing well and finding ways to use his personal experience to help others. Gratefully, he agreed to meet up and talk shop….

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In Memoriam: Ken Christensen

From Left: Ken Christensen, Libby Hubbard, Craig Riger, Dianne Parker, Lou Giordano at a Leadership Huntignton Founders Dinner in 2014

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” ~Google tells me this quote is attributed to Nelson Henderson but to me it belongs to Ken Christensen, who spoke those words often and took them deeply to heart.

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Moonjumpers Partner with Six Harbors Brewery to Serve Little Shelter and Angels of Warriors

Monnjumpers Mash Pale Ale Beercan Lable

The Moonjumpers have partnered with Six Harbors Brewery on a new craft beer, The label, shown above, was designed by Emma DeDora. She’s a cousin of Six Harbors Co-Owner Karen Heuwetter. Featured among the dogs is Moonjumper Co-Founder Rob Benson’s dear friend Cliff, who is himself a rescue from the Little Shelter.

Event Alert: Moonjumpers Charitable Foundation Partners with Six Harbors Brewery to Make Good Times Great Times by Serving the Little Shelter and Angels of Warriors​

A driving idea, from the very founding of the Moonjumpers Charitable Foundation is that a good time becomes a great time when people come together to help others. For more than ten years now, the Moonjumpers have served “children, families, war veterans and charitable and not-for-profit organizations through financial assistance and the purchase of products or equipment so as to aid in creating a better quality of life for those in need.”

Their merry endeavor includes a theme song, a dog named Cliff, and a passion for good fellowship and community partnerships. They tend to have a really good time even when they’re simply offering a financial donation or providing a direct service, such as rolling up their sleeves to help associates serve veterans or spearheading a coat drive to support the community served by a local youth organization.

They like it best, though, when they can really make a party of it. It’s been tough these last few years, but they are on it and hope you will join them in a really cool partnership with Six Harbors Brewing Company:

What: Stop on in for the unveiling of a new beer and beer can design for this “Moonjumpers Mash Pale Hale” to be available at Six Harbors Brewing Company.
Benefitting: A portion of proceeds from the sale of this beer will be donated to Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption.
When: May 19, 2022, from 5-8pm.
What: Moonjumpers and friends are among sponsors of this event. Ten North Shore Breweries will offer samples of their beverages from 1-4pm. Ticket holders will receive a commemorative glass and enjoy music from a steel drum band, delicious food, vendors, and fun activities.
Benefitting: Proceeds from the event will be donated to Angels of Warriors, which serves local female veterans in need. In addition, a portion of proceeds from all sales of the Moonjumpers Mash Pale Ale will be donated to Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption.
When: Saturday, June 11, 2022 (rain date Saturday, June 25, 2022).
To Register: General admission, VIP tickets and more information are available here.

Both events will be held at Six Harbors Brewing Company, 243 New York Avenue, Huntington

Fun Stuff!!!

A Few Good Places to Give

Long Island needs more people to give to local organizations addressing our local challenges. Here are just a few to consider:

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Please Replicate and Support This! Blessing Box

Image of Blessing Box provided by Gabe Lissy

Sometimes it’s the simplest initiatives that bend our hearts the furthest. From it’s host, Gabe Lissy, “If you are in need we have a blessing box set up. Please take what you need, leave what you can

It has been helping so many families in this extremely difficult time. Don’t be shy at all come and take what you need. We have some formula and diapers. Message me if you need.

Most importantly if you are able to donate items to help keep our box full, it is greatly appreciated. You can contact me with any questions or donations. You can come to the box whatever times work for you. Just come and get what you need. Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Thank you in advance.

Donations are always needed to help keep it going. Thank you…we as a community will survive and get through these hard times.”

To give, get (no questions asked!), or to find out more, please email glissy1005@hotmail.com or call 631-617-8110

The Need Is Great. Thank You to All Endeavoring to Serve.

We’ve got to be honest: We really wish we didn’t live in a society where a few folks have more than is, quite frankly, conceivable while most other people work ridiculous hours, can’t afford to save for rainy days and regularly feel like they have to decide between gambling with their health and paying their bills.

It would be nice if we could spend more time with our families, lay low for a while and focus on the essentials without being terrified of losing entire livelihoods, including so many small businesses that are keys to what make a community special.

We are grateful, at least, that while the system doesn’t seem prepared for a pandemic — and we’ve heard that many small food pantries have been shut down — a multitude of dedicated locals remain committed to making sure everyone gets fed.

Cooperation LI is a remarkable resource of local organizations that recently sprang up. It “brings together community-based organizations, base-building groups, service non-profits, jail advocates, immigrant rights groups, reproductive healthcare providers, faith organizations, and other community leaders to identify and support the diverse needs of the Long Island community, while centering the needs of traditionally marginalized communities..”

Then there are the major entities working to help keep people fed:

The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network): “addresses the issues of hunger and homelessness on Long Island by providing food, shelter, long-term housing, and supportive services in a dignified and respectful manner for those who seek our help.” Here’s their COVID-19 Plan and how to help.

Island Harvest: “Providing food and services for people who are hungry, and a voice for people who are in need. Island Harvest is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island.” Here’s a local pantry list they offer.

LI Cares: “Founded by the late Harry Chapin, Long Island Cares brings together all available resources for the benefit of the hungry and food insecure on Long Island and, to the best of our ability, provides for the humanitarian needs of our community. Our goals are to improve food security for families, sponsor programs that help families achieve self-sufficiency, and educate the general public about the causes and consequences of hunger on Long Island.” Here’s their food pantry list.

Then there are so many smaller groups that have a profound impact on their community. Here are just a few other endeavors we’ve seen. We encourage you to see what’s going on in your community!

Neighbors Supporting Neighbors in Babylon Which was founded in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and continues to help tremendously recently offered this on their Facebook Page: “Time spent this morning reflecting on the past 12 weeks, realizing tomorrow is June 1st!! In 12 weeks we have gone from feeding 250 people a day to feeding 1700 people a day!

With the support and dedication of Island Harvest, our amazing team and an even more amazing community, we have been able to adapt, grow and change to meet the growing need of the families in our community. Each week the need grows as more families and senior citizens from all over the Town of Babylon and beyond look for a little extra support. The team spends countless hours figuring out how make it all work. Fridays we all exhale, knowing we made it one more week, amazed that we were able to distribute groceries to 550 families in 2 hours!! Then the anxiousness builds as we all look around at our depleted supplies and try to figure out how can we make it through one more week.

Somehow we know we will be able to do it! We know we will be able to do it because of all of you!! Thank you to everyone that continues to support us. We can use non-perishable and perishable donations – sauce, canned meats, beans, rice, canned vegetables, fruit cups, snacks!! We can use gently used children’s and young adult books. Donations can be dropped off at the high school Monday- Friday 10-12. If you would like to make a cash donation, checks can be written to Neighbors Supporting Neighbors Babylon and mailed to 24 Gamecock Lane Babylon 11702 or Venmo @NeighborsSupporting-Neighbors

The Mastic Beach Ambulance Company has been an amazing page to follow. They’ve answered over 900 calls this year, figured out how to also help with food drives, and also manage to help folks prepare for other emergencies that won’t stop just because a pandemic has come to town.

It’s Giving Tuesday. Please Give Today, Tomorrow, Whenever You Can.

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, #GivingTuesdayNow has been launched as a global day of unity TODAY, May 5th 2020.

Before this all happened, Long Island was already suffering increasing holes in the fabric of philanthropy that makes our local nonprofit organizations possible.

Special events had become hugely important stopgaps for organizations. They’ve all been cancelled. These groups now REQUIRE our direct support. You can check our newsletter archives to find 100s of great local organizations that could REALLY use our help right now!!!

Some Guidance on Giving Wisely

A few months ago, we sat down with Marian Conway of the New York Community Bank Foundation. She offered her highly educated, deeply experienced view on better ways to evaluate non-profit effectiveness and the problems inherent in simplistic, hard line methods focused on budget percentages, especially for human service organizations and local organizations that are run by neighbors who know and care about the unique needs of our communities.

“Foundations for the Common Good — A Call to Action” written with Executive Director David Okorn touches on similar themes, while explaining how the LI Community Foundation that he serves helps givers make the best use of their philanthropic dollars.

A Few Good Places to Give

Recently, The Long Island Community Foundation launched a COVID-19 Philanthropic response fund to aid nonprofit service providers meeting emergent and critical needs affecting our local region. Thanks to their generous donors, as of yesterday they had granted out $777,000 to struggling nonprofits.

The United Way of LI is collaborating with Long Island Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (LIVOAD) and their network of nonprofit organizations in the region on a Response Fund For COVID-19. This fund helps financially-strained LI families during the current health and economic crisis.

Housing Help is providing a wealth of information for folks in financial crisis and with other human service needs — as well as some inspiring stories of folks stepping up to help!

Regarding major local food banks, Long Island Cares has information about mobile food services. Here’s news from The INN, which does a lot for hunger and homelessness. Here’s Island Harvest.

The Safe Center website and Facebook Page offers free, confidential resources for those suffering abuse.

The Family & Children’s Association serves those in need of human services in Nassau County. The Family Service League similarly serves Suffolk. Many smaller organizations, like the Tri-CYA do incredible work on a very local level, while the Health & Welfare Council of LI is busting it’s butt to get LI Counted AND deal with the massive human services crisis!

Of course, human service organizations get a lot of attention right now — rightfully so! Still, if you are passionate about the environment, the arts, science, animal rescue, preservation, good governance, anything else — including your favorite mom & pop shop! — PLEASE FOCUS YOUR GIVING THERE, especially on LOCAL organizations that are focused right here on Long Island.

Like Veterans: We are grateful to all the VSOs who are giving it their best to stay connected and keep serving both fellow veterans and the broader community. We continue to follow Patchogue VFW Commander Dave Rogers, who is providing all sorts of information. Here’s a great interview with him on USA Warrior Stories, talking about local community work, their COVID-free, fun, online “Coffee with a Veteran” program and more. Thank you for all you do, Dave. We appreciate it..

This interview includes a note that organizations like these are often terrible at asking for money at times like now because they are worried about taking from other groups. DON’T WAIT FOR A GROUP YOU VALUE TO ASK, ESPECIALLY IF YOU VALUE THEIR HUMILITY.

Case in point that will hate us for saying this: Vision Long Island (which, in full-disclosure, Trudy is proud to serve as a Co-Chair of). These guys have been working day and night. We doubt they’ve spent much, if any, time soliciting sponsors to do so, and they usually have a highly-educational 1000-person event in June.

In fact, if you reach out to them, they’ll probably be the first to tell you who else to give to!