Unique Giving Tuesday Ideas for the East End

Fire Fighter in New York Harbor
Fire Fighter in New York Harbor

Non-profits throughout the East End have launched annual Giving Tuesday campaigns today, which provide a great opportunity to give back to your favorite environmental and cultural groups. Below, however, we’ve compiled a few unique specific projects that have come our way over the past few weeks that are also deserving of the community’s support.

Support America’s Fireboat

The FDNY fireboat Fire Fighter, which has been docked in Greenport since it was first purchased for use as a museum by a new non-profit looking to save it from the scrap yard, is working to fundraise for the massive work necessary to restore the integrity of the boat’s hull.

In 2015, the museum received two grants totaling $494,000 to haul the boat out of the water, make the hull sound if needed, paint its bottom and return to Greenport as a living, moving museum able to do water displays and take on passengers.

The catch is, however, that those grants are reimbursable — the museum needs to pay the bill at the shipyard first and then be reimbursed one to three months later.

They’ve received a nearly $100,000 advance from New York State to help start the work, which is expected to cost about $521,000, but the museum still needs to borrow about $400,000 from a bank, foundation or individual in order to get the work done in the yard. So far, they’ve had little luck with a bank loan, and they’re looking for the public’s support in finding donors and lenders so that they can take advantage of the reimbursable grants. More information is online at www.americasfireboat.org.

A Garden for the Bridgehampton Child Care Center

The Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreation Center was established out of a tragedy in 1949, when a fire killed two children who were left home alone in a nearby migrant camp. The center was built to provide child care for the children of migrant workers, the first of its kind in the nation.

The center continues to serve more than 150 low income families annually through its after school program, summer camp and Head Start services. They also provide college prep classes and partner with other non-profits to provide additional educational enrichment.

This season, they’re asking for a donation of $250 to provide tools, supplies and plants for their Soul Garden for Spring planting. The center also needs to raise $300,000 annually in private donations to sustain their programming.

For more information, or to make a donation, visit http://www.bhccrc.org/donate.

SoFo’s Toy Drive for the Retreat

The Retreat

The South Fork Natural History Museum on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike is asking the public to bring in new, unwrapped toys to the museum between Dec. 1 and Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for distribution to families in crisis.

The Retreat’s mission is to provide safety, shelter, and support for victims of domestic abuse and to break the cycle of family violence. Last year, The Retreat adopted 110 local client families and served more than 300 people in the community through the Adopt-A-Family holiday program. They anticipate that they will serve just as many, if not more, clients this holiday season.

The Retreat has been providing domestic violence and sexual assault services and education to families, friends, and neighbors on the East End since 1987. More information is online here.

Reach for the Stars

The Montauk Observatory's dome at The Ross School.
The Montauk Observatory’s dome at The Ross School.

The volunteers who launched the Montauk Observatory 11 years ago had a dream of being the only observatory on Long Island that students, researchers and the general public can remotely access (via the internet) for little or no cost.

In 2005, a handful of inspired individuals who wanted to share their passion for science, incorporated Montauk Observatory as an educational non-profit charity. They chipped in and bought a 20” research-grade telescope. In 2012, they received the donation of a used, 15′ Technical Innovations dome, and just last year, the Ross School in East Hampton offered a spot on its campus to install the dome.

Recently, when the dome was removed from storage so that it could finally be assembled, volunteers discovered that all the mechanical parts and motors had rusted in the years the observatory was in storage, and a nightmare replaced the dream that was so close to coming true.

The observatory has received the promise of $6,000 matching donation, and is looking for help from the public to meet that pledge. You can donate to the Montauk Observatory at gofundme online here.

Taking on Ticks

Ticks are everywhere.
Ticks are everywhere.

Southampton Hospital and East Hampton’s Landscape Details landscaping company have created a pocket-sized “Tick Kit,” which includes a pair of precision tweezers, a magnifier, first aid supplies and a tick ID card with information on the safe removal of ticks.

The hospital’s Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center is looking for donations to allow them to continue to provide Tick Kits free to members of the public, so they can enjoy nature and work safely outdoors, and Landscape Details has volunteered to match all public contributions.

Southampton Hospital’s Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center provides advice on everything from safe tick removal to referrals for diagnosis and where to go for treatment. Through their free “Help Line” and their free informational programs for civic organizations and schools, they provide advice and reassurance on all aspects of tick-related illness.

You can donate to the Tick Kit effort online at goodcircle.org here.

Eat Up for FRNCA

Shopping and donating money can make you hungry. On Friday night, Dec. 2, between 4 and 8 p.m., if you mention the Flanders, Riverside & Northampton Community Association to the cashier at the Riverhead Chipotle on Route 58, the restaurant will donate half of the proceeds of your meal to FRNCA’s work to build community in Flanders, Riverside and Northampton.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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