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Posted on: April 1, 2020

Random Acts of Kindness in Smithtown

Ray Castronovo

Raymond Castronovo of Zenith Group Gives $3,000 Check to Help Seniors in Need During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Local Residents and Businesses Step Up to Help

Zenith Group’s Raymond Castronovo is one of the Good Samaritans looking for ways to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. When Castronovo reached out to his old friend; Supervisor Wehrheim, for ways to help Smithtown through difficult times, he found the most noble of causes.

“I wanted to do something to help those less fortunate and I knew that the path would be safe here in Smithtown… it comforts my heart, knowing that my donation will go to help these seniors.” - Raymond Castronovo, Zenith Group

Supervisor Wehrheim expressed his concern to Castronovo for the residents who rely on the Senior Center and meal delivery program, in particular those most vulnerable who were homebound or have no assistance to access or purchase essential supplies.

“Right now we’re delivering approximately five meals (per person) for the week; or congregate care meals, to homebound seniors. That’s in addition to our home delivery program, more commonly known as meals on wheels… Having additional funding in the budget would allow for our Senior Center to add essentials for the week to those meals. The thought of anyone in our community rationing food is heartbreaking… let alone the greatest generation of our residents. Thanks to Raymond’s generosity we can help more, care more… do more.” - Supervisor Ed Wehrheim

How the Smithtown Community is Feeding Our Neighbors

The Town of Smithtown has been in constant communication with the school districts, nonprofits such as the Smithtown Children’s Foundation and the Smithtown Anti Bias Task Force to create a unique matrix of information so the Town can ensure no one is left hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Town then works to coordinate with LI Cares and a handful of local restaurants who are donating large quantities of meals for front door delivery.

Smithtown Restaurants such as La Familglia, Mannino’s and Legends (in Kings Park) have fed hundreds of families in need, first responders and those medical caregivers working on the front lines. Donato Panico of Panico’s Market in Nesconset fed more than 120 individuals living in Hope House, in addition to surprising the Smithtown Public Safety Department with lunch and dinner, a great morale boost for our local first responders.

Local Random Acts of Kindness:

Smithtown College Student Kyra Dalli & her Sister-in-law Gillian Natt are spending their time home stitching cotton masks for medical and emergency responders. They are part of Stitched Together Long Island, a group of seamstresses working to help protect our local heroes.

Smithtown Elected Officials donated money to purchase 20 essential supply care packages which were delivered to homebound seniors. Drivers at the Senior Center delivered the extra supplies to the doors of each resident. A note from the Supervisor included important phone numbers and guidance should they require additional assistance.

Smithtown Historical Society’s Executive Director Priya Kapoor has enlisted the help of four to five seamstresses who are sewing masks for small children in daycare, whose parents are medical professionals or first responders, battling the coronavirus on the front line. They are also a part of the Stitched Together Long Island effort.

Norman Keil Nursery in St. James surprised residents by donating their entire stock of Spring Pansies, leaving crates of blooming flowers at each mailbox. Residents quickly transplanted the containers into gardens and planters, with bright yellow and purple illuminating each neighborhood.

Ways to Help:

Long Island Cares has always been a great advocate and friend to the people of Smithtown and beyond. During the COVID-19 pandemic, LI Cares has been working around the clock despite the obstacles. Residents can help today by making monetary donations or by donating via the virtual food drive. 

Island Harvest relies on the kindness of the public year round to feed those who are most in need. Residents can help during the COVID-19 pandemic by donating online. Each $25 donation will go towards supplying a family meal kit which provides food for 3-4 days.

Smithtown Food Pantry: Residents wishing to help the food pantry during the COVID-19 pandemic can mail monetary donations or gift cards to Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry: Post Office Box 1663, Smithtown, NY 11787

Stitched Together Long Island: Residents can help the local effort of sewing Face Masks by donating NEW Tight-weave cotton (100%) fabric, such as quilting cotton. A Drop Box is located in the lobby of Smithtown Town Hall (in the rear entrance) at 99 W. Main Street. Seamstresses can offer to help by joining the Facebook group Stitched Together Long Island and messaging the admin.

Foster a Dog or Cat: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smithtown Animal Shelter has had to restrict public access to confirmed adoption appointments and animal/wildlife rescue. Residents with no other pets or young children at home, can apply to foster a rescue dog. Families looking for a way to serve the community in this time of crisis can sign up to foster cats as well. The shelter staff is limited at this time. We kindly ask that the only serious foster applicants apply.

GIVE BLOOD: St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center is in urgent need of blood donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy residents are encouraged to donate blood at one of three local New York Blood Center locations in Ronkonkoma, Melville, and Port Jefferson Station. Any donations made using Group Code: 06284 will directly benefit St. Catherine’s. Register Online at https://donate.nybc.org/donor/schedules/zip

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