Members With Disabilities On #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity. Several Port Washington businesses have already committed to giving back in a festive way by hosting a holiday dance party for two nonprofits that serve individuals with autism.
Spectrum Designs and The Nicholas Center serve over 50 families affected by autism combined. Both are located on Main Street and are neighbors to H on the Harbor, an elite catering hall that is generously donating the food and venue for the celebration.
“I have watched these young people pass by my window each day for four years and it’s simply incredible how much progress I have witnessed,” said Alan Feinstein, owner of H. “I often wonder how difficult life must be for them and their families, so I thought a holiday party would be a great way to give back.”
Happening this year on Dec. 1, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The intention is to kickoff the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in ways that impact the causes they support.
Three years ago, Feinstein hired a young man from the Nicholas Center named William for kitchen help. “I have asked Will to be the guest maître d’ for this party, and he is beyond excited,” he said.
Masterpiece Sound and Entertainment will also join in the festivities by donating their services. “What’s a dance party without a real DJ?” asked owner Rob Herbst. “I’m really looking forward to bringing music to this great event and supporting such worthy causes.”
Both organizations have missions that address the core issues of the autism community. Spectrum Designs was created to address the dearth of work opportunities available to this population. Through its socially conscious customized apparel decorating company, Spectrum offers an integrated workplace, employing both disabled and non-disabled individuals. It also serves as a platform for authentic on-the-job training.
The Nicholas Center lends its focus on direct support services, assisting individuals in achieving the skills needed to lead productive and meaningful lives within their homes and communities. The Nicholas Center more recently unveiled its newly renovated Work and Wellness Center on Main Street, which offers the community a venue to engage in fitness, social enrichment, life skills and work readiness classes. It is filling the void which currently exists for teens preparing for life after high school and young adults who are aging into adulthood.
“What I truly appreciate about #GivingTuesday, is that it isn’t only focused on monetary donations,” said Development Director Nicole Sugrue, “It inspires people to give back in creative ways which strengthen relationships between organizations and others in the communities. This is priceless.”