Great Give Back Supports the Food Pantry

The Great Give Back is planned for October 14.
The Great Give Back is planned for October 14.

By Christine Sampson

Kids who sign up for “The Great Give Back” program on Saturday at John Jermain Memorial Library won’t just be taking part in a local charitable effort. They’ll be part of something much, much bigger.

“The Great Give Back” is an effort across almost all of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System — 50 out of 54 libraries — to engage patrons in a fun day of community service, according to Derek Ivie, the youth services coordinator for the library system.

“This day raises awareness of the importance of community service,” he said. “To see so many of our libraries participating is fantastic.”

Some libraries are hosting sessions to make cards for soldiers and veterans; some are doing beach or lake cleanups; and more.

At John Jermain Memorial Library, librarian trainee Kathleen Comber has planned a program that involves packing bags of food donations to be given to local families through a local food pantry. The program starts at 2:30 p.m. and is for ages 5 to 9. The children will play games to help them learn about nutrition. It also encourages environmental awareness through the use of canvas bags that the children will decorate for the families.

“Doing kind things for others is a great way to develop community and friendship,” Ms. Comber said. “…As a child, I was invited by a friend to volunteer for the Sag Harbor Food Pantry, and the experience was very important to me. It helped me to gain a sense of my role and my responsibility to my community, and I hope to introduce this idea to the children too.”

The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton is hosting a beach cleanup at Ocean Road at 9:30 a.m., a “Little Free Library” painting party for teens at noon and an art supply drive for the art therapy program at The Retreat, a local domestic violence shelter.