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Heart Of The Hamptons: Baby, You Can Drive My Car!

Bill Pell, Melissa Lynch, Stuart Schoener, and Hilton Crosby. (Courtesy Photo)

Now that Tumbleweed Tuesday has come and gone; roads are less congested and traffic has dramatically subsided, and while gala events for the season may have ended, don't close those wallets (or your hearts) just yet! It is time to focus on those still here in the Hamptons who require sometimes life-saving services that still need assistance. One organization tending to those needs is the Heart of the Hamptons, locally known as Human Resources of the Hamptons.

Speaking with J. Hilton Crosby, Jr., MS, Executive Director of the organization since 2015, and the only full-time employee, one of the greatest needs is the acquisition of a vehicle that would be registered and insured by the organization as he and the three part-time employees and numerous volunteers have been using their own vehicles to deliver meals, pick up and drop off donations, and aid and assist all community members, particularly seniors, that count on them for a myriad of reasons.

Crosby offered that "2016 has been a great year in terms of programs and services, and community response has been active and everyone has been supportive but this vehicle is an item we really need."

"Our recent fundraiser was a bit different from the traditional fundraisers we have held in the past, as those have been for specific reasons, such as turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas, clothing for the needy, meals for seniors and shut-ins, etc. This fundraiser is for a vehicle that we will own, register and insure."

This wonderful organization has aided the local community for years, and according to Crosby, "We have held fundraisers for emergency clothing, the Polar Bear Plunge, Backpacks for Kids, and our Lunchbox for Kids which provides healthy food for kids during the summer, and which increased this year to provide this service to both the Southampton and Tuckahoe School Districts, as in prior years we could only offer the service to the Southampton School District."

The organization is "Proceeding and increasing its movement and momentum towards sustainability so it is a major concern to have our own vehicle because volunteers and employees have been using their personal vehicles to provide services to the community."

In particular, "We deliver 40 meals every Wednesday year-round to seniors, shut-ins, ill and homebound community members. To keep our Food Pantry shelves stocked we make weekly trips to retrieve donated food from farm stands and bakeries, as well as meat. If an accident or incident were to occur, the liability to our organization could be devastatingly costly," according to Crosby.

"Our Board of Directors, as well as Discovery Land Company (who donated $5,000) have been very supportive. Presently, we have raised a total of $5,200, as a result of the fundraiser. Stuart Schoener, General Manager with Storms Ford in Southampton has been really wonderful, and found a used Ford Transit Connect that would be ideal for our needs, however, we need to raise $25,000 to purchase the van and pay for insurance. We now have our new web site finally up and running and truly hope to raise additional funds."

So if you are unaware of this organization or are not familiar with the tremendous services they provide to the local Hamptons community, now is the time to increase your awareness and show your heart. Considering the amount of money they are seeking, this appeal is incredibly modest and certainly financially realistic.

For further information and/or to donate go to heartofthehamptons.org, call 631-283-6415, or reach Hilton Crosby directly on his company mobile at 631-903-1460.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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