The ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt far and wide. Many businesses and organizations are struggling. Our local hospitals and medical professionals need supplies and could use help even in small ways.
Many different efforts are underway to help those in need, either by donating food and water, monetary donations or simply sending a brief thank you video. As more stories emerge, we’ll compile them in one spot here.
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“We would like to start a free service twice a week to provide our disabled, elderly and people in need within the Riverhead area with supplies to keep them safe and healthy during this time. The less they are exposed to potentially life-threatening ailments, the better.
“We are partnering with the First Baptist Church of Riverhead along with Open Arms Food Pantry and The Butterfly Effect Project.
“We will be using our Montauk Iced Tea vehicles to deliver groceries and other items to people in need. We will be volunteering ourselves and along with members from the church and non-profit to make this happen. We will be taking necessary protective measures.”
COVID-19 Defense Fund
A collaboration of several local businessmen have joined forces to lend their particular skill sets in the battle against the novel coronavirus. Jamie Mills Mills, president of William J. Mills & Co., and his brother, vice president Bob, are working with Richard Vandenburgh, co-founder of Greenport Harbor Brewing Company; Bob Gammon, co-owner of Woodside Orchards in Jamesport; and Mark Miller, former owner of Miller Environmental to produce face shields for hospitals, first responders and community outreach volunteers.
Kent Animal Shelter
Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton is seeking emergency donations as the facility has closed its doors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a newsletter March 30, Kent Animal Shelter said over the past week they “have worked diligently to get all 13 dogs rescued from a midwest puppy mill temporarily into foster homes. During the same week that the puppy mill rescues came to Kent, another transport with 14 dogs tagged to be destroyed at a Texas shelter came to the shelter just before we were forced to close.”
COVID-19 has impacted all operations for the shelter.
“We know it’s a very difficult time for everyone but if you are able, please consider a gift of any amount to help sustain the Kent Animal Shelter during this national crisis.”
North Fork Tech Project
Teachers associations across the North Fork are teaming up to provide Google Chromebooks to students in need. The North Fork Tech Project, comprised of educators from Oysterponds, Greenport, Southold, Mattituck-Cutchogue and Riverhead, pooled their resources to make an initial purchase of 50 Chromebooks—and they’re hoping to raise funds to help even more students.
“The number of computers that our schools have to give to families are finite,” said Riverhead Central Faculty Association president Gregory Wallace. “As teachers we are concerned that the most vulnerable of our students might not have the tools they need to succeed remotely. We are doing our best to ensure equity for all of our students during this time,” he said.
Supplies for Peconic Landing
Peconic Landing continues to accept donations of personal protective equipment such as face masks, gowns, non-latex gloves, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other related supplies. Anyone wishing to donate can contact Diane Radigan, director of member services at [email protected].
In a press release, Peconic Landing said: “We would like to express our most sincere gratitude to those who have already provided much needed supplies including Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Stony Brook University Hospital, Stony Brook ELIH, PBMC Northwell Health, San Simeon by the Sound, East End Group of Yaphank, the Oysterponds School District, the Halyard, and Flavor Fields.”
Messages of support have been posted on the in-house communications channels for all to see. Photos, notes and videos of 20 seconds or less can be sent to [email protected].
“We are grateful for the outpouring of support shown by our local community and beyond,” said Robert Syron, Peconic Landing’s president and CEO. “Together, we will get through this difficult time.”
Supplies for first responders, health care professionals
Southold Town officials are asking the public for immediate help to address the shortage of personal protective equipment.
In a press release, officials said: “The response to COVID-19 has resulted in a national shortage of personal protective equipment. We need these critical supplies to ensure the safety of our first responders, police officers and other health care professionals who are on the front line of protecting our health, welfare and safety.
“We ask that any business in personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, beauty salons and any individuals to donate equipment they have to fill this vital need. Masks, gloves, gowns and other personal protective equipment are in short supply. Supervisor Scott Russell is launching a supply drive to help obtain N95 masks, ear lobe face masks, gowns and gloves.”
“We need to do all we can and give all we can give to help protect those who are on the front line of this battle,” said Mr. Russell, “and we need to remember to take all steps necessary to protect ourselves, our family and our community.”
Mr. Russell asks that anyone who wishes to contribute to contact his office at 631.765.1889, or the town police department at 631.765.2600.
“We remain committed to serving our community during this national health crisis and are taking all precautions necessary to keep both our staff healthy and support the efforts of all of our health care professionals,” said Police Chief Martin Flatley. “We urge all residents to cooperate with social distancing standards to prevent the spread of this virus.”
Stony Brook ELIH Meal Train
People can sign up for specific dates and times to donate meals and water to staff at Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital.
“These donations are very much appreciated by the nurses, doctors, and ENTIRE staff who are working on the front line of defense amidst the COVID-19 situation.
“Please note, we cannot accept homemade meals and we are only able to accept packaged food from restaurants, grocery stores, etc. to ensure the safety of our staff.
PBMC Meal Train
Volunteers can sign up for specific times via the meal train webpage that was just created and the effort began March 23. Donations are sought for bottled water, lunch and dinner.
Donations for Stony Brook Medicine
Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital will be collecting donations of personal protective equipment, which will be distributed to staff at both hospitals. The university and ELIH community relations are currently accepting PPE donations that include face shields, N95 3M 1860 masks, protective eyewear, goggles, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and other supplies required for staff safety. The PPE will be distributed to medical personnel to use while interacting with possible and known COVID-19 patients.
Long Island Aquarium seeks help
The coronavirus pandemic has forced the Long Island Aquarium to close its doors, as have many other “non-essential” businesses throughout the tri-state area.
The aquarium started a GoFundMe to help offset the lack of revenue that’s used to keep the operations going and to care for more than 5,000 animals.
“We have a large team of caretakers that still must go to work each day to feed, care and clean for all of our animals,” the GoFundMe said. “As an aquarium, we have tanks that must run on electricity all day, every day.”
Funds for CAST
Community Action Southold Town’s food costs have increased dramatically — from about $1,200 a week to now $5,000 a week.
“We are making three and four runs to Riverhead to shop for food,” said Cathy Demeroto, CAST’s executive director.
To help fill the monetary gap, former Greenport mayor David Kapell and his family have stepped into the breech with a GoFundMe page that in just 24 hours has raised over $4,000 from community residents determined to help those who need it.
RISE Life Services seeks masks
RISE Life Services on East Main Street in Riverhead is facing a shortage of face masks used when dealing with developmentally disabled individuals living at one of its 32 group homes in Suffolk County.