Richard Schaffer, the president of the Greentree Foundation, said that although the foundation created by the Whitney family focuses primarily on advancing peace and human rights around the world, serving the community is still a priority.
“We believe in continuing the Whitney family’s support of the community and being a good neighbor so, we make a grant each year to Manhasset community fund,” Schaffer said.
The foundation continued that practice on June 19 when with the help of the Manhasset Community Fund it awarded $187,800 to 21 local organizations at a luncheon on the Whitney’s 400-acre estate off Community Drive in Manhasset.
The estate in Manhasset served as a residence for the Whitney family for more than 100 years, and now functions as the foundation’s headquarters.
The nonprofit’s Good Neighbor grant program serves to continue its founders’ charitable efforts, Schaffer said.
Spectrum Designs Foundation, a not for profit organization based in Port Washington, received $8,000 to further their mission of providing employment opportunities for people with autism and other developmental abilities, Tim Howe, the organization’s chief operating officer, said.
The nonprofit which is currently located in the community chest building at 382 Main St., recently purchased a new building at 366 Main St. to help expand their efforts. Spectrum designs provides apparel customization for consumers. The money from their products, donations and fundraising events go towards someone with autism or a developmental disability.
The grant money will be used to “secure additional capital equipment that further promotes job creation,” Nicole Sugrue, the co-founder and development director, said.
“What we are seeking to do with the new space and equipment is to be able to employ another 11 individuals with disabilities,” Sugrue said.
Currently, they employ 47 individuals with disabilities and about 80 percent are from the Town of North Hempstead, Sugrue said.
Copay Inc., a local Great Neck community-support organization, received $10,000 to help further their drug prevention, treatment and recovery efforts.
“This particular grant in general is to help the community combat the growing problem of heroin exposure and addiction and to create tracks that are specifically designed for teenagers and young adults,” Maria Elisa Cuadra, the executive director of Copay, said. The drug treatment facility also provides mental health services, youth prevention, and family support services, Cuadra said.
The grant money helps address the “ongoing problem,” of addiction in the county, Cuadra said. A total of 493 opioid-related deaths occurred in 2016, data from the Nassau medical examiner’s office reported.
The Port Washington Community Action center, a center that provides community resources, received $10,000 in grant money. The money will be used to fund an eight week summer program for local children from the ages of six to thirteen. The center also hires 14 to 21 year olds to work in the summer program, Mario Martinez, the center’s director, said.
“The youths, 14 to 21, I started training them in March with resume writing, research, they do mock interviews and in case they don’t work for me at least they’re prepared to go out into the world and ask for a job,” Martinez said. Martinez said the foundation has been supporting them since 2012.
Other organizations that received grants are Central Nassau Guidance & Counseling Services, First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury, Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, Island Harvest, Landmark on Main Street, Literacy Nassau, Littig House Community Center, Long Island Advocacy Center, Manhasset/Great Neck EOC, Manhasset High School Model UN, Mineola High School Falk-Sysak Student Service Center, NAMI, North Shore Child & Family Guidance Center, Rebuilding Together Long Island, Science Museum of Long Island, St. Aloysius Church Interfaith Food Pantry, and Sustainable Long Island.