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Long Island Social Diary: Empowering And Caring

They say you never forget your first, and for that very reason, EAC Network (which stands for Empowerment, Assistance and Caring), holds a very special place in my heart.

The first time I was ever honored in my life was by EAC back in 2001, and because of that and what they do for the less-fortunate has made this Hempstead-based not-for-profit agency very near and dear to my heart. I had been introduced to this human service organization the year before by my late friend Phyllis Kreitman. What struck me was the wide variety of wonderful programs EAC provides to the community. At that time, its Meals on Wheels and Dress for Success programs were particularly impressive. But during the tour I was given of EAC’s facility, I was particularly impressed by the fact that supervised visits for children were being overseen, giving them a safe haven which I feel was and continues to be a very important thing to have.

EAC has a rather long and illustrious history that dates back to 1969, when four concerned women focused on helping children with special needs. Since then, the network has greatly expanded and continues to aid people whose lives are being destroyed by drug addiction, families continuing to struggle to overcome poverty, the abused and neglected and seniors facing isolation and abandonment.

The Meals on Wheels program continues to thrive, having its vans get food to those who need it most despite the recent round of hideously inclement weather. Furthermore, Meals on Wheels formed a partnership with, Mentor Up and the Meals on Wheels Association of America to take part in the Love Letter campaign, which encouraged teens to make handmade Valentine’s Day cards to lift the spirits of older adults nationwide during a time when isolation and depression peak. In the end, more than 68,000 teen volunteers nationwide made Valentine’s Day cards for nearly 100,000 of the 2.5 million vulnerable seniors receiving Meals on Wheels across the country.

I am constantly amazed at the myriad programs the EAC Network uses to help out so many different segments of society. Anger management, alternatives for youth, community service, home energy assistance, nutrition education and food services, employment readiness and vocational services just scratch the surface of the issues EAC helps its participants to address.

So is it any wonder why I am so proud of the fact that my good friend, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, and myself are being recognized by this marvelous institution. Best of all, the Light of Hope Luncheon is EAC Network’s largest annual fundraising event, and the proceeds will support its 70 programs that protect at-risk children, support senior citizens, help people with mental health and substance abuse problems, educate people seeking financial independence, assist individuals who are under or unemployed, mediate disputes and work with families in crisis. Just last year, EAC helped more than 57,400 souls in need. I’d like to personally invite everyone to come to the luncheon and support the charitable endeavors that EAC Network continues to take on.

EAC Network’s 14th Annual Light of Hope Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, March 12, at Woodbury’s Crest Hollow Country Club from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For details, visit or call Alena Jones at 516-539-0150 ext. 117.

Angela Susan Anton is publisher of Anton Community Newspapers. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it