Charity-minded residents have an opportunity over the next month to contribute to the Retreat's annual Adopt-a-Family program, which collects gifts and gift cards for families in need during the holiday season.
The program runs through Dec. 12 and was established about two decades ago when the Retreat, an East Hampton nonprofit that provides support for victims of violence in schools, at home, and elsewhere, served about 20 families in need.
"Now, this holiday giving program provides for 200 families and more than 450 individuals," according to a release from the Retreat announcing this year's Adopt-a-Family program.
Loretta Davis, executive director at the Retreat, whose offices are at 13 Goodfriend Drive in East Hampton, noted that past donors have included people who "barely have enough money for their own families," as she expressed gratitude behalf of her organization and its clients.
The nonprofit has been around since 1987 and gets about half of its annual budget of around $5.8 million from government contracts and grants.
Besides providing safe and secure housing for eastern Long Island victims of violence, the Retreat provides counseling, advocacy, legal assistance and case management services. It also hosts a fatherhood training course.
The organization was one of many regional nonprofits that faced ongoing challenges in light of the recent Suffolk County malware debacle, as the nonprofit relies on county money every month that has been delayed in coming, owing to the county's mass shutdown of its computer systems.
That's all the more reason for local residents to step up the giving in the holiday season.
"When donors support this program, they are making a family's holiday brighter," Ms. Davis said in a statement. "Every gift is greatly appreciated, and providing gift cards or cash gives the added gift of independence."
"Clients are able to make the decision of what toys, games, and clothing to purchase for their families -- something that many of them were unable to do for so long."
Donations can be made by visiting allagainstabuse.org/events.