CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – The owner and staff of a Bohemian-based roofing company will carry on a long tradition of caring for those in need this Thanksgiving season.
King Quality contractors will deliver 150 turkeys, along with side dishes, baked goods and drinks on Wednesday at 11:30 am to 1 Carleton Avenue in Central Islip, across from AutoZone.
The donation will be made in partnership with Lighthouse Mission of Bellport, Long Island’s largest mobile pantry, whose mission is to “feed the hungry, help the homeless and empower people to overcome poverty and lead a meaningful life ”.
According to Pastor Howie Mann, Lighthouse Mission’s outreach director, the mobile pantry serves 10 outreach sites across Long Island and feeds more than 3,000 people each week with local donations.
King Quality CEO Jeff Brett told Patch he enjoys working with Lighthouse Mission because of its ability to help reach a variety of people.
“Sometimes we have our eyes closed,” said Brett. “(They) help people that people have forgotten.”
Brett said he started working with the organization about five years ago when one of his employees found out that Lighthouse Mission had made an appeal regarding a need for turkeys.
A third-generation resident of Port Jefferson, Brett said he was amazed at how well around 200 people turned out on his first donation.
“I couldn’t believe the queues to get the food,” Brett said. “This is Long Island, one of the richest places in the world and there are so many people in need.”
Since then, Brett has partnered with other Long Island nonprofits, such as Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson. King Quality is also a major charitable sponsor of Mather Hospital and the JTM Health Facilities Foundation.
When COVID-19 hit, Pastor Mann said Lighthouse Mission was one of the few pantries on Long Island that continued to operate because they are mobile. Due to the delta variant, Mann said the number of recipients in need has increased.
“A lot of people are struggling with life,” Mann said. “They don’t know what they’re going to do the next day. They don’t know where the meals are going to come from.”
Brett said King Quality is still donating turkeys in 2020, but he and his staff are not distributing them in person due to health safety protocols. Being able to deliver in person, Brett told Patch, is an invaluable experience.
“It really gives you all the impact to be there,” Brett said. “(To) see people, I think that really helps.”
While COVID-19 prevented King Quality from supporting the community in some ways, Brett found other ways to give back. In February, King Quality provided a brand new roof to a retired nurse at Roosevelt, free.
“She does anything for charity,” Brett said of Sara Jenkins. “Other people want to help her because she’s amazing.”
Brett said he’s constantly inspired by the kindness of others. One of his favorite anecdotes, Brett told Patch, was when a disabled veteran told him to keep the bigger turkeys “for other people.” The veteran asked for a little turkey, Brett said, because he would be alone on Thanksgiving.
“Everyone has problems. But when you come to see people who don’t have food, that’s, that’s something,” Brett said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Brett told Patch that service to others makes a lifelong difference.
“Getting involved in the local community is so rewarding,” said Brett. “You can see the change, you are helping those in need right in front of you.”
To find out more about the donation and the Phare Mission, Click here.