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It Takes A Village...

This is the season of giving, when people tend to think more about the needs of others. One particular organization in the community is devoted to giving to others throughout the year, though they do appreciate and rely on the generosity of others during the holidays. The Guardian Angel Family Crisis Center in Sea Cliff is devoted to helping women and children on a daily basis, and the needs of those they serve often become amplified this time of year. 

 

Last month, the center extended its thrift store space and opened a holiday boutique, where children’s toys and clothing are displayed for purchase, as well as holiday decorations. Women's clothing is also for sale, and the space now has a dressing room. A special aspect of this holiday boutique is the Giving Tree, where those who wish to purchase a gift for a child in need can take a name from the tree to ensure the child’s Christmas wish is fulfilled.

 

Founder Barbara Costello runs the place and is clearly committed to her job - a job that, like a mother’s, is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She develops a bond with each of the women and children in crisis who she helps through the program, and is personally there for them to babysit, give a ride or bring food in emergency situations.

 

“We help them, but they have to help themselves...they have to do the work but when you’re in crisis, it’s tough, you need support. Nobody can do it alone.” She strives to give the women the tools to be self-sufficient and she also stresses the importance of community support.

 

The mission of Guardian Angel, founded in 2004, is to help women and children overcome weaknesses and nurture their strengths, helping them to become “vital members of the community.” Costello and the board have strict criteria for those they help, and part of their service is the thrift store where families can find clothing, toys and other necessities for their children. The organization goes beyond giving just the essentials, though, and offers medical care and helps provide shelter, when necessary.

 

 She feels its important to have local support on a personal level, and  has numerous volunteers from the community who help with the families.

 

“A lot of people want to give but they don’t know how. I ask them what their passion is and what they think they could bring to the table...everybody has a gift.” Somehow, she says, things work out. A lot of people know that they can donate gently used clothing, toys and baby gear to the shop and sometimes they want to give more. 

 

“It’s about helping your community. You might think, I want to help my neighbor but I don’t know what my neighbor needs, so I’ll give it to Barbara and she’ll figure it out,” notes Costello. 

 

While of course she looks ahead, Costello says she mainly goes on a day by day basis of assessing needs. 

 

“Every morning I pray that I will have the resources to fulfill the needs for whatever comes up that day,” she says. It might mean stepping in to babysit if the sitter is sick, or driving a woman in labor to the hospital.

 

“Things come up, and I’m there for them.”

 

One thing Costello says she would like to see this season is more “open hearts” in the community; a volunteer shared a story of how a stranger helped her pay for her groceries in a pinch, without passing judgment or asking questions.

 

“The situation could've went the other way, but that person had an open heart,” says Costello. “I’d love to see more of that.”

 

To learn how you can help visit www.gafcc.org.

News

Movie lovers once again have a chance to see first-run films in the theater without having to travel far. Glen Cove Cinemas re-opened last week, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and free films offered to celebrate the occasion. 

 

“Thanks to all of the support we have here and all of you, Glen Cove is once again open for business,” said Mayor Reginald Spinello at the ceremony, held outside the theater on Thursday, April 10. “We were scheduled to open last week, and there were a few things that weren’t ready...I got a call from the theater operator, Jay Levinson, and he told me that unfortunately, that day Spiderman had the flu,” he joked. “But, Spiderman is well and Glen Cove is well, and we are coming back strong. This is just the beginning. This is going to be so good for Glen Cove and the surrounding communities.”

The Glen Cove Board of Education passed the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption for taxes following last week’s public hearing at Robert M. Finley Middle School, to the appreciation of the veterans in attendance.

 

Several dozen vets arrived promptly at 6 p.m. at the middle school to express their support for the tax exemption. Many noted that they get tax breaks from the city and county, but are still left with the ever-growing school tax bill.

 

“We’re having a hard time with our taxes, especially the school tax,” said the first veteran to speak.


Sports

 

Glen Cove High School players, from left, Tajah Garner, Dejon Taylor, Manny Sican, and Ralik Jackson, after the Long Island Colts u18’s team vs. St. Anthony’s at Robert Finley Middle School last week. Touchdown ‘tries’ by Garner, Taylor and Sican.


The third- and fourth-grade Knights took to the road last weekend as they faced off against Jericho early Sunday morning, April 6.  Jericho’s teamwork and hustle brought down the Knights by a final score of 5 – 0.  The early game may have been a factor as the boys started to play better and more like a team as the game went on.  Once again, goalie Tyler Shea played outstanding in goal and was relieved by Christian Maiorano, who did just as well in the second half.  Andrew Guster played solid defense in the loss.


Calendar

Eggstravaganza - April 16

Live Music - April 16

Community Easter Egg Hunt - April 19


Columns

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

Sustainable LI: Getting Good Things Done
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

LI’s ‘Most Prominent Lady In Politics’
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com