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Letter: Neighbors Helping Neighbors

The story of Christmas is not one in which a mighty emperor arrives on a mighty steed but rather one in which God identifies fully with ordinary people huddling in the dark: a young mother in labor, an anxious father, a baby born in a barn. Many of us recently huddled together in the dark when a storm took away the lights, phones, and warm homes we took for granted.

In the wake of the Superstorm Sandy, Long Islanders rallied to help one another. Neighbors checked in on each other, lent tools and shoulders to cry on, and took in friends and relatives who needed shelter. A church in Massapequa offered their sanctuary to a synagogue that was badly damaged and hauled 94 bags of groceries to our Freeport pantry, knowing that many people lost food due to flood and power outages. Church World Service quickly delivered a truckload of disaster response kits—packed by churches across the nation—to our Riverhead office. The United Church of Christ had clean-up suits, gloves, goggles, and masks delivered to us in Freeport to help folks muck out homes. The Islamic Center of Long Island collected food and blankets for the LICC to distribute in Hempstead. All sorts of people did everything they could to help.

Long ago the prophet Isaiah said that the worship God most wants us to offer is the work of defending “the widow, the orphan, and the sojourners among you”—in other words, the most vulnerable members of our society, the people the LICC helps every day, those whose lives were a disaster even before the storm. Jesus taught that nations will be judged on the basis of how we care for “the least of these” brothers and sisters.

Thank you for everything you have done this year to help your neighbors in need.

The Rev. Thomas W. Goodhue

Executive Director

Long Island Council of Churches

http://www.liccny.org


News

A group of Levittown parents are voicing their concerns with letting their children walk to school, since it would mean they would continue to cross Hempstead Turnpike.

 

“My kid has to cross [Hempstead Tpke.] daily without a crossing guard,” said Division Avenue parent Wendy Lantigua. 

 

For Lantigua and others, the dangers of Hempstead Turnpike became all to real after 13-year-old Brianna Soplin was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, last June. Not to mention the fact that another 14-year-old Levittown student suffered multiple injuries after being struck in hit-and-run, last February. 

On Sept. 14, Hempstead town officials joined family and friends of fallen New York City paramedic Rudy Havelka, to unveil the re-dedication of Birch Lane in Levittown. 

While surviving the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Havelka wou ld later die of an illness related to his service at Ground Zero.


Sports

The annual One Love Long Island (OLLI) Yoga Festival takes place at the Sands Point Preserve on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All profits will be donated to organizations that support survivors of human trafficking, locally and globally. 

 

The festival will unite 16 Long Island yoga studio communities in a round robin of the traditional yogic practice of 108 Sun Salutations from 9:30 a.m. to noon, whose offerings will look to create long-term and sustainable solutions to eradicate the human trafficking epidemic by raising funds and awareness for the cause.  

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

 

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Calendar

IT Board of Ed - September 17

All Star Comedy - September 18

Irreversible Paul Lynde - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com