Malverne residents reach out

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What’s more, RepairRestoreRenew charity efforts have gone beyond providing financial assistance and supplies to those who experienced great losses. The group also donated funds to the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hempstead for its community Thanksgiving dinner. The parish delivered food to more than 125 people in the Rockaways on Thanksgiving.

In addition, RepairRestoreRenew also held a Holiday Toy Drive, which kicked off on Dec. 1, at Malverne’s annual holiday lighting ceremony, and concluded on Dec. 14. During that time, residents dropped off new, unwrapped toys at Malverne Village Hall and St. Thomas the Apostle school, which were distributed to several towns affected by Sandy.

Lang said that the response to the toy drive was “amazing,” and that hundreds of items were collected. The group decided, she explained, to donate 300 toys to the Belle Harbor community and 300 to the Long Beach Catholic Regional School, which was hit hard by Sandy. Lang also noted that many new books were collected in the drive, and members decided to donate 500 new books to the Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School in Island Park, which was extensively flooded.

Grech said that many local organizations helped to spread the word about the group’s efforts, including the Malverne Civic Association, the Malverne Merchants and Professional Association, St. Thomas the Apostle, Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Malverne and the University of Scranton Alumni Society, of which Grech is president. And with the huge outpouring of support to date — and many residents who were still experiencing hardship during the holidays because of Sandy — Grech said that the group has no intention of reducing its efforts to help people get back on their feet.

“What we get in, we give out — this is a thoughtful exercise in helping people,” he said. “We hope to continue to let people know we’re out there. We want to do more.”

For more information and how you can contribute, e-mail or visit its Facebook page.

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