East End Cares and The Clamshell Foundation have joined forces to assist the Hamptons community during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. East End Cares is a Facebook and Instagram based group that facilitates relief and other volunteer efforts for the East End community.
Melissa Berman, one of the co-founders of the East End Cares volunteering community, shares extraordinary efforts they have launched, in partnership with The Clamshell Foundation:
$5 For Food
“For this crisis we are doing a number of things. We have launched a fundraiser called $5 for Food. These efforts go to the Montauk, Sag Harbor, Springs, and East Hampton food pantries,” explains Berman.
As the Clamshell Foundation’s President Kori Peters notes: “the food pantry demand has increased dramatically [with the coronavirus pandemic] and we are supporting them with emergency funds.”
The Clamshell Foundation was founded in 1992 by Rossetti Perchick. The Foundation is a non-profit organization that donates 100% of the proceeds back to community. The Foundation also works with other groups on the East End to support them. Currently, funding is what is most needed.
Mask Donations for Hospitals
East End Cares has also been able to procure masks for the hospitals. This is through their partner out of Miami called Third Wave Volunteers. “Two days ago, we received 1,200 masks [from Third Wave Volunteers] that went directly to the [Stony Brook Southampton] Hospital,” explains Berman.
Delivery for Senior Citizens
The Town of East Hampton has some great services for seniors. They will deliver frozen meals. “We are filling in and helping the seniors with shopping. We are fortunate to have so many willing to volunteer, jump in and help,” says Berman.
Farms are also giving leftover produce to the food pantry. There has been a tremendous response overall.
“As you can imagine, the need is great. We are dealing with an unprecedented challenge. The ask is hoping everyone in the community can pitch in,” adds Fundraising Lead Volunteer, Christopher Barry.
“In this era of social distancing, it is hard to raise capital for nonprofits. We must remember those who need our help. [In addition], a deadline with uncertainty is challenging. The economic impact will be quite significant. The need in the East End community is fairly evenly dispersed.”
For the next few phases of the fundraiser, they are hoping to attract corporate and local sponsors. “The range or way to help could be an activation within the business itself, such as topping up a bill at a store or e-commerce for $5. Social media and email marketing campaigns are also great,” says Barry. “We have a really nice group of volunteers. We can help their business spread their message as well. Food is a basic human right, and we want to make sure everyone is healthy.”
In addition, East End Cares helps senior citizens locate nearby Covid testing centers across the Hamptons. Looking for a center near your location? Click Covid testing near me.
“We are recruiting volunteers who are available for different needs. In particular, we have a volunteer buddy system,” says Berman. “If a person is older or is unable to go out or has recently arrived from NYC and doing the right thing by quarantining for 14 days, that person is assigned a buddy or volunteer who will go out on their behalf and run errands, get groceries, and more.”
“We [East End Cares] just launched a phone number (646-456-8845) for that buddy outreach program. Some people are very scared to reach out to others. It is nice to know that you can call and there will be someone to help you out,” adds Berman.
For anyone who wants to volunteer*, email East End Cares directly at eastendcares1[at]gmail[dot]com.
*Please note that volunteering opportunities are separate of the Clamshell Foundation. East End Cares is facilitating them directly.
For more information, you may email info[at]clamshellfoundation[dot]org.
Click here to donate directly the Clamshell Foundation.