Port Washington Nonprofit Addresses Emergency Needs Of Residents

Volunteers have been making masks out of fabric. (Contributed photo)

The Community Chest of Port Washington, a nonprofit organization, recently created the Port Washington COVID-19 community response fund to help provide essential services to residents amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The fund will be used to make COVID-19 emergency grants for food needs, housing costs and other expenses to existing community and faith-based organizations (CFBO) that have experience in supporting local families during difficult situations. The Community Chest set up a GoFundMe for residents to donate to the cause. At the time of publication, the nonprofit raised more than $250,000 of its $500,000 goal.

“At the heart of every community are community and faith-based organizations working alongside the school district, public library and local government,” Drew Hershkowitz, Community Chest president said. “The Community Chest is pleased to be partnering with a broad group of community leaders, many of whom have strong experience supporting local families in need, particularly those that are hit hardest by this crisis. Many jobs are in flux, local businesses are shuttered, anxiety is high, and the enormous needs of Port Washington residents will likely continue for many months to come. We appreciate the community’s tremendous support and are not surprised to see Port’s humanitarian values shining bright.”

Port Gives Back

The Community Chest also launched the PW Mask Brigade.  Since the project began, volunteers have sewed more than 1,000 washable fabric face masks. After the masks are created, Spectrum Suds, a program of Spectrum Designs Foundation, will wash the three-layer fabric face masks to make sure they are properly sanitized before they are distributed.

“People are putting in hundreds of hours to help their neighbors in need,” Julie Meer, executive director of the Community Chest, said. “I’d especially like to thank Betsy Liegey, who coordinated this whole project, Tracy Lefkowitz, our technical guru, and www.MichelleShain.net, our logo designer.”

To join the PW Mask Brigade, contact the Community Chest at 516-767-2121 or email info@portchest.org.

Help For Senior Citizens

Additionally, the Community Chest is also offering a free shopping and no-contact delivery service called Helping Hands for Seniors. The program has currently been helping about 25 home-bound seniors who are unable to get food, medication or other essentials during this time. Those unable to procure food, medication or other essentials should contact the Helping Hands program at 516-767-2121 or email info@portchest.org.

The Town of North Hempstead’s Project Independence program has also been helping seniors during this time. All senior citizens above the age of 60 who register with Project Independence will be assigned a caseworker who can assist them with transportation, food, including Meals-on-Wheels if eligible, entitlement benefits and other needs. Those who are in need of services can call 311 or 516-869-6311 or visit www.northhempsteadny.gov/PI-About to find out more about the Project Independence program.

Those who are interested in making a donation to the PW COVID-19 Community Response Fund can visit www.bit.ly/2WUAKQG. For a list of local resources for residents and community-based projects, including ways for volunteers to become involved, visit www.portchest.org. 

—Additional information provided by the Community Chest of Port Washington

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Caroline Ryan
Caroline Ryan is co-managing editor at Anton Media Group as well as the editor of Port Washington News and beauty editor for Long Island Weekly.

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