The Power of Belongings: Helping Teens Carry On

Conceived at a recent Birthday Wishes event, this unique project focuses on the needs of Long Island teens in crisis and will be held on Tuesday, May 21st at the Howard B. Matlin Middle
School in Plainview at 6:00 pm.

These community powerhouses; the POB Chamber of Commerce, the POB School District, the Mid-Island Y JCC, as well as generous area residents, have collected hundreds of supplies for teens currently living in homeless shelters or in foster care. The driving force behind this project is Birthday Wishes Long Island led by director Jamie Rapfogel who will be distributing the supplies as part of the organization’s birthday celebration mission. Guest speaker author Regina Calcaterra survived her own traumatic experience with homelessness and the foster care system. She is now a successful attorney and advocate for homeless youth who knows firsthand that the teen population is often “unseen” with attention primarily given to younger children and babies.

The goal of the “Belongings” project is to fill 500 duffel bags with various supplies. These young people are often using garbage bags to carry what little they have to and from shelters or foster homes. The duffel bags will be filled with toiletry and activity kits (collected via the schools and the JCC) as well as other items that most average kids their age appreciate. Having their own bags and comforting belongings can also help boost their self-esteem during a trying time in their young lives.

To fulfill the project’s goal, donations are expected as admission to the event. They can be made via the Amazon Wish List and either shipped directly to the school or brought to the event. Visit to learn more.

–Submitted by the Plainview Chamber of Commerce

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