‘School’s Back INN’ drive is three years strong


What began as a Facebook page devoted to highlighting the positive aspects of East Meadow became a conduit for charitable causes and community outreach. Now, Nice Things That Happen in East Meadow is sponsoring its third school supplies drive to benefit the Mary Brennan Interfaith Nutritional Network in Hempstead.

The drive began when Ben Diamond, of East Meadow, reached out to Todd Weinstein, the founder of the Facebook page, and asked if he could use the page as a way to help out the community. At the time, the Mary Brennan INN was seeking help garnering school supplies for those in need.

Since then, the community has donated thousands of dollars worth in supplies to the INN and, Weinstein said, “the crazy thing is, they’ve really come to count on our drive.”

Each year, the INN provides a number of students and their parents with a hot meal and other necessities, said Dana Lopez, its the director of marketing and communications.

She added, “Through the incredible generosity of community groups like Nice Things that Happen in East Meadow, we are able to properly prepare those students with essential school supplies that will ease the anxiety of not having the correct resources and ultimately arm them for success."

The most needed school supplies items include backpacks, #2 pencils, pens, highlighters, markers, 24-pack crayons, pencil cases, pencil sharpeners, erasers, scissors, glue sticks, marble notebooks, pocket folders, calculators, student planners and loose leaf paper. You could also order your items through the INN’s online drive at www.yougivegoods.com/theinn.

This year, those who contribute will receive a token for free ice cream at Stew Leonard’s in East Meadow.

The drive goes through Labor Day, but the sooner items are in, the sooner they could be provided to those who need them. For more information, contact Todd Weinstein, pictured right, at (516) 637-3258.