Hundreds attend third annual Hope Day event in Greenport

With the simple goal to “extend love, compassion and hope to those in need,” the True Light Church in Cutchogue hosted its third annual Hope Day on the Polo Grounds in Greenport earlier this month.

About 100 volunteers from local businesses, churches, and agencies and organizations including CAST and Head Start came together June 1 to provide free groceries, health services, haircuts, family portraits, lunch and more to those in need in the community.

“One of the best parts is that people see churches and organizations in the community working together, and doing it just to be a help,” said Keith Benson, lead pastor of True Light Church.

About 300 people attended the 2019 Hope Day, Mr. Benson said.

The event began in 2012 when Valley Stream pastor Steven Milazzo of Bethlehem Assembly of God partnered with an international non-profit organization, Convoy of Hope, to bring food and services to one Nassau area in need. It has now grown into a larger network and takes place in about 30 different locations around New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island on the first Saturday of June.

Mr. Benson said his church was inspired to start its own event after helping out Truth Community Church in Flanders with their first Hope Day.

“That’s actually kind of the point of this type of event — it’s not to get bigger, it’s actually to spread out and help localize communities,” he said.

Mr. Benson said the church plans on holding another Hope Day next June.

“People are more open once their physical needs are met to talk about their spiritual needs,” he said. “[The event] is hope on all levels — physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.”

Photo caption: Megan Rosado, left, and Michelle Santacroce prepare food at the June 1 Hope Day event in Greenport. (Courtesy photo)

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