In the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are learning to live in a new normal. As people remain either inside their homes or keep socially distant while venturing out (to walk the dog or a quick run to the supermarket), many local organizations continue to help the community during this stressful time.
Below is a list of organizations stepping up to help the Hauppauge community maintain a sense of comfort and normalcy. Find out what they are doing, how to access their services, and how you may wish to give back, as well!
St. Thomas More Parish / 115 Kings Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788
Rev. Antony Asir, Pastor
The church has suspended all weekday and weekend masses but is open for private prayer daily from 9am to 6pm. Sunday masses are live streamed. On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 7pm, they are presenting a special live streamed Holy Hour for Tuesday of Holy Week. The website states: “There will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as well as modern and chanted music. The Hour will conclude with Benediction.” Go to the website to see all their live streams. In addition, liturgies/devotions that are live streamed can also be viewed on Facebook Live or YouTube. The Parish Outreach is open Monday through Thursday from 10am to 1pm to pick up food and pantry items. The Parish asks that you call 631-234-5551 to make an appointment.
How You Can Help: Food donations are being accepted and can be dropped off at the bins inside the front of the church.
Long Island Cares / 10 Davids Drive (Harry Chapin Way), Hauppauge, NY 11788
Paule T. Pachter, ACSW, LMSW, Chief Executive Officer
The regional food bank continues to have regular business hours Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Phones are being answered by administrative staff 24/7. Due to an extreme amount of calls, please allow 24-48 hours for a response. The website lists the following, which pertains to the actual services they are providing: “We are distributing boxes of food and other supply packages at six locations (satellites and Hauppauge), Monday-Friday, and evenings and weekend by appointment only.” Please call for assistance and/or to schedule an appointment to pick up food. Call, email, or visit their website for more information and to locate the nearest food pantry. For anyone struggling to feed their pet(s), Baxter’s Pet Pantry, operated by Long Island Cares, makes free pet food and pet supplies available to pet-owning families in need in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The pet food and supplies are supplied by ARF and other pet food corporations. The Pantry also offers toys, pet clothes, feeding bowls, cat litter and other pet supplies.
How You Can Help: Long Island Cares needs donations. Donated food from food drives/retail donations is down by 23%. Items that are in great demand are high protein foods, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and personal care items such as soap, shampoo, and toothpaste. Donations can be dropped off at their Davids Drive location.
Hauppauge School District / 495 Hoffman Lane, Hauppauge, NY 11788
Dennis P. O’Hara, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools
The school district is distributing meals to families in need during the school closure. Meals can be picked up by families that need assistance at the High School loading dock, 500 Lincoln Boulevard, Monday through Friday between 10am and 12pm.
How You Can Help: Call the high school main office at 631-761-8302 to ask about volunteering. If you know of any family facing food insecurity during the school closure, please tell them about this service.
Suffolk County Office of the Aging / H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, NY 11788
Holly Rhodes-Teague, Director
The Hauppauge location is open, operational and still administering federal, state and county programs for persons 60 years of age and older on a case-by-case basis.
How You Can Help: Anyone interested in helping a senior citizen receive the programs and services that are so vital to their well-being can access information on the How Do I portal of the agency’s website: https://suffolkcountyny.gov/aging/How-Do-I
Temple Beth Chai / 870 Townline Road, Hauppauge, NY 11788
Rabbi Alan C. Stein
The temple has temporarily closed the office, but will continue to check voicemail messages and emails, and respond to all as soon as they can. Their website states: “In an effort to keep us connected as a community and to allow for continued opportunities to pray during this challenging time, we will be holding virtual Shabbat Services on Friday nights at 7:30pm and Saturday mornings at 9:30am via Zoom.” Please connect to these live services by visiting their website at: http://www.bethchaiofhauppauge.com/
How You Can Help: Call 631-724-5807 for possible volunteer opportunities.
Smithtown Animal Shelter and Adoption Center / 410 East Main Street, Smithtown, NY 11787
John Valentine, Acting Director
The shelter will be limiting public access and only approved adoption appointments will be permitted to enter the premises. Check their website for the list of requirements for temporary adoptions. In addition, they are not accepting public donations at this time and the volunteer program has been suspended. To reassure the public about the care the shelter animals are receiving, the following is posted on their home page: “We assure you that the animals are getting plenty of love, attention and medical care despite the limited access to the public. On behalf of the Town of Smithtown and the Animal Shelter team, we wish you all health and positive thinking during this troubling time.”
How You Can Help: Volunteer and donate once the restrictions are lifted. Adopt a pet!
Donate Blood: According to the American Red Cross website, “The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to schedule an appointment now to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to help patients counting on lifesaving blood throughout this pandemic. Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood.”
For more information, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or access their website at: www.redcross.org