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Young Adults with Autism launch food bank delivery program to procure and deliver food and essential items to 1,400 financially insecure Long Island residents.
I’m Stella Spanakos and I’m Nicole Sugrue. We are mothers of adult children with Autism. Together, we created The Nicholas Center, a place where our kids – and 125 other young adults with Autism – become integral members of our community by working on volunteer projects. We have just started our most important project ever! Our participants are collecting and donating food and other necessities for 1,400 low-income Port Washington residents who could not otherwise afford these essential items.
with son Nicholas
Co-Founder and PR Specialist
The Nicholas Center
with son Adem
Co-Founder & Executive Director
The Nicholas Center
This program, called Port Provides Powered by The Nicholas Center, was started by The Community Chest of Port Washington over two years ago to get these residents through the COVID crisis. Together, Community Chest and The Nicholas Center ordered and delivered meat, diapers, and other necessities to 5 local food pantries and children’s relief organizations. The need is still so great that we have taken over this project from the Community Chest and turned it into a permanent program.
To make this a success, we need your help! Every month, we buy:
Although Port Provides has some items donated, they purchase a good deal of the products needed, with costs running at approximately $25,000 a month.
“We ask the community’s help to keep this program going, '' says Ms. Sugrue. “You can donate goods or help us fund our purchase of goods via a GoFundMe Campaign at: Port Provides, Powered by The Nicholas Center. We also welcome mitzvah projects, food drives, and other community efforts to support this work. Please contact Brooke Mellet at 516-767 7177 ext. 412 to arrange deliveries of goods or to make donations other than through the GoFundMe Campaign.
50 Nicholas Center volunteers (and their aides) order, sort, package, and deliver these goods to our participating pantries. They are excited and proud to help their neighbors in this meaningful way. But, the expenses to keep this work going are tremendous. Without your help, we will not be able to continue. Please help us help Port Washington. Every dollar you contribute is fully tax-deductible and will directly go to purchase and deliver the supplies.No family should experience hunger or worry whether they will have enough diapers for their babies. Every dollar will make a difference.We also welcome donations of these items through mitzvah projects, scouting group collections, and the like. The 1,400 Port Washington residents who rely on these deliveries and The Nicholas Center participants who work hard to supply them thank you and appreciate your kindness.
With sincere thanks,
Stella Spanakos and Nicole Sugrue
Co-Founders, The Nicholas Center
Founded in 2011, The Nicholas Center (TNC) is a nonprofit human service agency based in Port Washington, NY with a location in Westchester County, in Pleasantville. The organization provides opportunities for education, personal growth, and fulfillment to adults with Autism who have aged out of the school system at age 21. Our goal is for our participants to become engaged and active members of their communities, working in paid positions or as volunteers, with meaningful roles and responsibilities, thereby enhancing their self-confidence and sense of life satisfaction.
We provide a variety of Medicaid-funded services to our 125 participants. 50 of TNC’s participants engage with our volunteer program, a collaborative project with 15 other local non-profits. Our participants provide the bandwidth and people power (and heart and soul) so that these organizations can fulfill their missions dealing with local hunger, poverty, environmental sustainability, animal protection, and senior's needs. Simultaneously, as we are helping fulfill local needs, we are fulfilling our own mission – to enrich the lives of adults with Autism, offering opportunity, training, employment and hope. Our participants help the most vulnerable among us, which forges an indelible bond for them within their communities, and promotes a sense of accomplishment and empowerment.
The Nicholas Center is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Tax ID # 45-2022370. Your donation is tax-deductible. Please keep your donation receipt for tax purposes. For any questions concerning your tax-exempt donation to Port Provides, Powered by The Nicholas Center, please contact Brooke Mellett at: 516-767-7177, ext. 412.