What started out as a kids' summer art program has taken on an entirely new life during the pandemic. Marit Molin expanded Hamptons Art Camp into Hamptons Community Outreach to reflect the organization's new, additional priorities: food insecurity, mental health, crisis support, and children's services.
Included in those initiatives are food drop-offs every other week to veterans, many families of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, senior citizens, and people with disabilities or other special needs. The organization has social workers, including Ms. Molin herself, and substance abuse counselors to help those in need. It is also providing tutoring, school supplies, and winter coats for underserved children.
"There are still so many needs out there," said Ms. Molin, who lives in Water Mill with her husband and two children. "We expected it to be getting better, but it's not. People are still unemployed."
She also started a Girl Scout troop on the Shinnecock reservation, with 12 girls taking part. "We focus on community service and empowerment," Ms. Molin said. "They're great girls and they do great work."
She says she couldn't keep Hamptons Community Outreach running without the help of many dedicated volunteers, including Amanda Race, Michelle Peterson, Joanne Comber-Jimenez, Roxy Zajac, Ryan Duffy, Dana Litvin, George Negroponte, Judi Caron, Nick Gazzolo, Denise Silva-Dennis, the Avenues School Studio, and Chuck MacWhinnie.
"The needs are so overwhelming," Ms. Molin said. "When you read the news, it feels very negative. The way I personally cope with that is by helping."