East Meadow donates school supplies to benefit Hempstead's The INN

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Dozens of East Meadow residents recently took part in a back-to-school supply drive to benefit the Mary Brennan INN of Hempstead. The drive, which was mobilized by the Facebook group "Nice Things that Happen in East Meadow," supports the Interfaith Nutrition Network, a soup kitchen that helps the hungry and homeless on Long Island by providing food, shelter, long-term housing, and supportive services in a dignified and respectful manner.  

The drive this year raised pencils, markers, backpacks—and many more school supplies. Todd Weinstein, the Facebook group founder and administrator said that “Nice Things” began advocating for The INN last summer after East Meadow resident Ben Diamond saw a flyer from The INN soliciting school supply donations, and asked “Nice Things” to help. After the online group advocated for The INN, Weinstein received an overwhelming response.

“People just kept showing up at my house with backpacks, notebooks, markers, folders, crayons, and checks,” Weinstein said. “It was amazing.”

This year, Stew Leonard’s distributed soft-serve ice cream tokens to everyone who donated to The INN. “I have always known Stew Leonard’s to be a good neighbor in the communities they serve,” Weinstein said. “They were happy to help.” 

Dana Lopez, director of marketing and communications at The INN, said that The INN serves a large number of students, may of who rely on the Mary Brennan INN Soup Kitchen for a hot meal, along with their families.

“As they start the school year—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,” Lopez said.

Weinstein said that this year’s school supply drive success is yet another example of the East Meadow community’s kindness. “I’d like to say the tremendous response was a surprise, but in truth the East Meadow Community is incredibly supportive, especially when others are in need,” he added. “We are blessed with so many wonderful and caring people here.” 

For more information on the Mary Brennan INN, call (516) 486-8506 or visit www.the-inn.org.

Courtesy Todd Weinstein.