Though the Great Neck Library on Bayview Avenue is closed, cars flooded the parking lot Tuesday morning as the Iranian American Jewish Federation of New York provided more than 7,000 protective masks to residents.

Around a dozen people from the Great Neck peninsula aided in directing traffic through the library’s parking lot and safely handing out one pack of 10 masks per vehicle that drove up from 11 a.m to 1 p.m.  

While some residents honked horns from impatience or pleaded to have more masks to take home, the overall reaction to the event was very positive, according to the federation’s president, Steven Khadavi.

“We had tons of people show up right at 11 a.m. and start getting in line for masks,” Khadavi said. “Once the mandate came out for wearing masks and we knew there was a shortage, we wanted to do our part and help.”  Some people may want more than 10, but this is going to be the first of other events.”

According to Khadavi, the masks were provided by Costello’s Ace Hardware of Great Neck, located on Middle Neck Road.  Khadavi said of the 10,000 masks that were provided by the hardware store, roughly 3,000 went to local organizations, including churches and synagogues.

“We all want to thank Ace Hardware for providing us with all of these masks at cost,” Khadavi said.

He said the federation plans on procuring more masks sometime in the very near future and hopes to have another event planned within the next few weeks. Whenever the next event will be, Khadavi said, it will most likely take place at the Parkwood Sports Complex located at 65 Arrandale Ave.

The organization has also been sending meals twice a week to local hospitals for their doctors, nurses and staff, he said.

“We have been using local restaurants in Great Neck to deliver to North Shore Hospital, St. Francis, and Sloan Kettering in Uniondale and will be sending meals to Long Island Jewish as well,” Khadavi said. “We want to thank the hospital workers for risking their lives for us and at the same time, we are trying to support local restaurants that are obviously facing significant decreases in business.”

Khadavi said the federation has also provided meals to needy members of the local community, both through Commonpoint Food Pantry and directly to families.

The federation has been in existence for the past 18 years, according to its website, and has been at the forefront of humanitarian causes, extending a helping hand in Israel, the United States, and around the world.

“The IAJF is a community-based organization that tries to support the needs of the community,” Khadavi said.

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