Malverne, West Hempstead residents to hold Dress Down for California


Malvernite Lori Lang has rallied schools in Malverne, West Hempstead, Valley Stream and New Hyde Park to take part in a fundraiser to support people affected by the California wildfire. Lang, who is the school board president at St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Hempstead, started reaching out to schools earlier this month in hopes of galvanizing the communities. During the fundraiser, which is set to take place on Friday, students will dress down in the state colors for California of blue and gold.

“At St. Thomas the Apostle, we usually come up with different ideas and fundraisers throughout the year,” Lang said. “We have dress down days for the kids once a month, and they each bring in $1 to support a cause.”

Lang, who had previously worked for nonprofit organization, the American Cancer Society, said that nonprofits usually rely on donations like this. In addition to a small donation, Lang said she would like to collect non-perishable food, blankets and clothing to support the families.

“This is something where any school can participate,” Lang said. “It doesn’t take much to give back. Little acts of kindness like this, it all adds up . . . and it really matters to a lot of people. We hope this fundraiser will spread across Long Island, almost like how people got together during Hurricane Sandy.”

Getting local businesses involved, she said, is the last component. She is urging local businesses to challenge their coworkers, friends and other businesses to wear blue and gold and support the relief efforts, and then make a group donation to the American Red Cross.

With over hundreds of students, parents and faculty members from several communities that are expected to take part in Dress Down for California, Lang said she is hopeful that the small donations will make a difference.

“We’re also teaching the kids that you don’t have to donate thousands of dollars to make an impact,” Lang said.