Since Habitat For Humanity of Nassau County began building a home in Mineola last spring, for local residents Mary, Kathleen, William, Michael, Timothy and Theresa Clarkin — siblings, who are all developmentally disabled — the Girl Scouts of the West Hempstead/Franklin Square Girl Scouts Association have been right by their side, volunteering their time to participate in the construction and provide free lunches to HFH volunteers.
Disability Opportunity Fund teamed up with HFHNC nearly a year ago to help fund the development of a new home for the Clarkin children, whose parents passed away several years ago. The siblings inherited the home, which fell into disrepair shortly thereafter and was nearly condemned by New York State, until HFHNC took over. The old home was demolished, and Habitat began construction in May.
As the home’s construction nears completion, the Clarkins and local lawmakers are gearing up for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, scheduled for March 30 at 11 a.m., outside of the home, located at 84 Westbury Ave. in Mineola. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is scheduled to host the event, and several local leaders are expected to attend.
According to Carol Grassi, leader of the West Hempstead/Franklin Square Girl Scouts Association’s Troop 1422, as well as lunch coordinator for HFHNC, the Scouts have provided close to 95 percent of the Mineola volunteers’ meals, with the help of several local organizations, including St. Catherine of Sienna's Christian Mothers, the H. Frank Carey High School Dads’ Club, Uncle Bacala's Restaurant in Garden City Park, the Carey Habitat For Humanity Club and local Boy Scouts.
Fourteen local volunteers have been working on the home every Wednesday and Saturday, since last spring. Typically, Grassi said, homeowners of Habitat-constructed homes spend nearly $5,000 annually to feed volunteers. The Clarkins, however, due to help from the Scouts and other locals, won’t be responsible for any food costs.