As a local news organization, Patch covers stories of all kinds, from heartbreaking tragedies to nitty-gritty breakdowns of government and school district issues. But some stories are simply inspiring, often showing that at the heart of our communities is a desire to do good. Here are some of the touching headlines from the past seven days.
A few New York City children are getting to spend a fun time in the sun on Long Island this summer, thanks to the Fresh Air fund, a program that provides free summer vacations to children from low-income communities.
Saul Saldivar, 12, and Mark Wilks, 13, both of Brooklyn, will be spending time on the North Fork. Wilks is staying with Greenport couple Carole and Richard Mavity, who have participated in Fresh Air for the past nine years.
“The first thing he wanted to do this year was to play mini-golf, but we haven’t gotten to that yet,” Carole said. “When he arrives, we make a calendar and fill in the things he’d like to do when he’s here. We’ve already been sailing out of Orient, swimming at the beach, renting movies at the library for the evening. We know Mark really well and are always delighted to have him.”
Meanwhile, Salvidar is staying with Kathleen Dwyer of East Marion and they've already gotten in some good beach and biking time.
One the South Fork, for several other children who have vacationed on the East End thanks to Fresh Air Fund.
Southampton Inn owner Dede Gotthelf hosted kids from Fresh Air Fund for three years, and she's organized the annual barbecue and pool party for the past five years.
For Amy Wilson, this is her family's second time hosting the same child, 9-year-old Marques Taylor of the Bronx.
"All the things we have to be grateful for — to share it with one more child is just wonderful," she told Patch.
When Stephan DePascale was diagnosed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, it created a big problem for his business. As a woodworker, his hands are just as important as any tool. Luckily for him, his workers banded together to help, taking over the labor aspect of his while DePascale continued to manage.
And the business hasn't missed a beat, despite pressure from retailers such as Lowe's and Home Depot competing for business.
"It's not stopping us," he said. "I'm moving forward." said DePascale, a 33-year resident of Port Jefferson Station.
The Long Island Farm Bureau will for the first time give top honors to two women at its annual awards banquet.
Farmer and Riverhead resident Deb Schmitt, of Schmitt Farms, will receive the he Amherst Davis Memorial Farmer Citizen Award while Randi Dresner, president and CEO of food relief organization Island Harvest will be honored with the LIFB Citizen Award.
Sherman, a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle found cold-stunned in Sag Harbor in December, will be released back into the wild on Saturday after being rehabilitated by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.
The turtle will be let go at Tiana Beach at 5:30 p.m.