In the world of Long Island nonprofits, there are few names that are more noteworthy than Charles Evdos.
Evdos is known not only for his expertise in the industry, or for his professional leadership qualities, but mostly for his genuine care for the community he serves at RISE Life Services.
RISE Life Services is a Riverhead-based nonprofit, serving those with developmental and physical disabilities. His organization provides vital in-home and group-home services to over 250 individuals, an adult program, two food pantries, and soon, an out-patient center. RISE Life Services does a majority of their work on the East End , along both forks.
Evdos, though, has a tremendously unique pathway to his position at RISE Life. His career began as a “Copy Boy” at the New York Daily News. He rose up the ranks at this iconic daily paper, to become an editorial assistant and TV/radio reporter, to concluding his storied 12-year career as a business manager.
While his career at the Daily News was fulfilling, he always believed he was destined to help people.
“I always knew that I wanted to help others, so I said, ‘When I retire, I’m going to go back to work.’ It’s important to help others and empower them to make a difference in their own lives,” says Evdos.
Evdos is a resident of East Islip but spends a majority of his professional and personal life on Long Island’s East End. He loves the Hamptons, the North Fork, and the South Fork. He says that “Long Island is unique everywhere, but the beaches on the East End present the perfect scenario.”
An avid fisherman, he says “put me on a boat, and you can’t ask for better.”
Evdos, though, is more than just a lover of our precious shoreline he also loves the North Fork’s world-renowned vineyards. Perhaps most of all, though, he loves the people to which he has dedicated most of his adult life.
He says, like many things for which he is passionate, helping those with special needs is “a tough field, but it is tremendously gratifying.”
“Once you get into the business of helping others, you’re hooked,” he continues.
He says that the hook caught him in 1981, and encourages others to follow suit, if they are able. The time spent helping others, says in sum, is not working at all.
“Each person, each individual has a different story, but no matter the field of philanthropy, advocacy, and service providing you are in, the need is there,” he says. “God was good to me, and I see this as a way to return to our community.”
A former accountant and business owner, in addition to his career at the Daily News, Evdos’ professional skills and experiences helped him establish a network of friends, associates, and connections that help him muster the resources for the people he serves.
“I call it FRIENDraising, not fundraising. It’s developing networks and bringing them together for good,” he says.
The father of four, grandfather of 11, and husband to Renee, will be celebrating his 13th wedding anniversary over the next few weeks.
When asked to describe his life in one phrase, he says: “It was fun. It is still fun, and I am grateful for it.”
To learn more or support Charles Evdos and RISE Life Services, visit their website at riselifeservices.org/about.
Todd Shapiro is an award-winning publicist and Associate Publisher at Dan’s Papers.