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AFTEE Gives #GivingTuesday a Local Feel on the East End

The excitement and excess of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday that surround the Thanksgiving holiday weekend can overwhelm the senses and overshadow the spirit of charity at the heart of the season. So when Giving Tuesday (aka #GivingTuesday, given its strong roots in social media) launched in 2012, the idea was to set aside the Tuesday following Thanksgiving as a day to turn the focus away from door-buster deals and put it back on, well, giving.

“Giving Tuesday is a national day to give back to the organizations, communities and nonprofits that serve a variety of good and worthy causes, from humane services to the environment to the arts and so many more,” says Bob Edelman, Dan’s Papers CEO and board member and executive committee member of AFTEE (All for the East End), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose primary purpose is raising awareness of the role not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) play in making the East End of Long Island one of the most desirable places to live in the world. To that end, AFTEE has established a fund that NPOs in Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton and Shelter Island have access to through applying via a grant process.

“AFTEE exists to serve all nonprofits in the five East End towns,” Edelman adds, “and will take Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to showcase the community of East End nonprofits.”

On Giving Tuesday, December 2, AFTEE is inviting the community to a wine reception and networking event at Dodds & Eder in Sag Harbor, during which checks will be presented to AFTEE by Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB), Dan’s Papers, The Babcock Foundation and Myron Levine, among others, as their contribution to #Giving Tuesday. Recognition will also be given to the AFTEE 2014 grantees from each of the five towns:

East Hampton (Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, Family Service Leaque of Suffolk County, Food Pantry Farm, I-Tri, Project Most), Riverhead (Aid to the Developmentally Disabled, East End Arts, North Fork Spanish Apostolate, Open Arms Care Center, Peconic Community Council/Maureens Haven), Shelter Island (SI Historical Society, Sylvester Manor Educational Farm), Southampton (CMEE, Dominican Sisters Health Services, East End Hospice, Lucia’s Angels, Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry) and Southold (Community Action Southold Town, Inc.; North Fork Animal Welfare League; Southold Free Library).

“While the East End of Long Island is often stereotyped by palatial homes and great wealth, there is genuine poverty that many nonprofits struggle year-round to combat,” says David Okorn, Executive Director of the Long Island Community Foundation, which manages and administers the disbursement of AFTEE funds. Last year through the Long Island Community Foundation, AFTEE made 20 micro grants of $2,500 each to NPOs in each of the five East End Towns, and AFTEE will continue the grant process in 2015 with the funds raised this year. “Difficult fiscal times have resulted in many nonprofits having to cut back on services and staff. Creative collaborations, such as those employed by AFTEE, bring new sources of revenue and awareness to the work these groups are doing. By running a new event that will benefit many organizations and potentially drawing supporters from Long Island and beyond, AFTEE continues to provide much needed support to address critical needs on the East End.”

“The eastern towns of Suffolk County—Riverhead, East Hampton, Southold, Southampton and Shelter Island—have over 1,075 registered nonprofit organizations,” Okorn adds. “Due in part to the region’s geographic isolation and seasonal population, it continues to be difficult for these organizations to identify and secure new sources of funding. AFTEE’s mission of showcasing and supporting the services nonprofits provide to the people of the East End, while inspiring fellowship among those organizations around this common purpose. AFTEE seeks to be a unifying voice for nonprofits, leveraging strategic assets to raise awareness, rally support, and bring new fundraising resources to East End nonprofits.”

The AFTEE Giving Tuesday event is Dec. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m., at Dodds & Eder, 11 Bridge Street, Sag Harbor. Free and open to the public. Visit aftee.org for more information.

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