One of the traditions my parents (and grandparents) taught me is best summed up by a Biblical quotation used by President John F. Kennedy in one of his speeches “to whom much is given, much is required.” President Kennedy went on to list four questions we should ask ourselves as we live our lives: Are we people of courage who will stand up for what’s right? Are we people of judgment who have enough wisdom to know what we don’t know – and admit it? Are we people of integrity who never run away from our principles – or the people who trust us to do the right thing? Finally, are we people of dedication to the public good?
When I think about the charities that Fortunoff Jewelry supports, and my own personal charities, it is these kinds of principles that underwrite our giving.
I serve on the board of the Safe Center LI, so each year I attend the Safe Home Gala at the Garden City Hotel in October, which raises money for this worthy organization. The Safe Center LI is the only agency in Nassau County providing comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and trafficking – women, men, children, and the elderly – all under one roof. Its mission is to protect, assist, and empower victims of family violence and sexual assault while challenging and changing social systems that tolerate and perpetuate abuse. You can learn more about The Safe Center LI here: http://www.tscli.org/.
I also recently attended the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association (NCWBA) 2018 Holiday Cocktail Party & Mittens Fundraiser, with net proceeds supporting programs and services offered by The Safe Center. I’m shown here with (from left): Charlotte Bush, Special Events & Marketing Coordinator at The Safe Center; Gail Broder Katz, Esq., Pro Bono Project Coordinator for the Safe Center; Simone Freeman, Esq., NCWBA; Lois Schwaeber, Esq., Director of Legal Services at the Safe Center; Francine Medaglia, Director of Resource Development at the Safe Center; Elaine Colavito, Esq., President of the NCWBA; and Cara Cronin, Esq., fellow board member at the Safe Center.
I also encourage our team here at Fortunoff Jewelry to join me in supporting great programs to help others on Long Island. Here’s a photo of our table at the Books for Babies event that was held at Lucky To Live Here Realty in Cold Spring Harbor. We sold jewelry to benefit the organization. Shown are Fortunoff Jewelry’s Christina Pumo at left and Mary O’Hara at right, and between them are the two students who founded Books for Babies, Our Lady of Mercy Academy (Syosset) sophomore Catarina Chelius (15), and Chaminade High School (Mineola) junior Nicholas Donatelli (16). The two are seeking to promote literacy, and to give books to underprivileged families on Long Island. The organization has collected over 1,000 new and gently used donated books that they’ll be giving away to families with children up to 4 years old this holiday season. They collect the books at various locations and you can learn ways to help them – or suggest a family that would appreciate a gift of donated books, here: http://www.booksforbabies.us/.
Fortunoff Jewelry also hosted an event right after Thanksgiving, which was sponsored by BOOM Business Network and benefited Habitat for Humanity of Suffolk’s mission to build affordable homes for families in need. We donated 20% of purchases made that evening to the cause. Here’s more about this worthy organization’s work on Long Island: http://www.habitatsuffolk.org/.
We also sponsored and attended the Girls Inc. of Long Island 7th Annual Gala this year at Crest Hollow Country Club. It was the group’s biggest gala yet. Our Fortunoff Jewelry team had a whole table of jewelry that attendees could purchase, with Girls Inc. receiving 20% of everything sold. This important non-profit provides school and community-based programming that serves the unique needs of girls, ages 5-18, living in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Through community partnerships, they help girls to achieve their full potential making their future brighter. I love that the organization is dedicated to the advocacy of gender equity for all girls, and to training girls to become leaders in their communities. You can learn more about this group at http://girlsincli.org/.
Join all of us at Fortunoff Jewelry in supporting causes that you care about this holiday season. It is truly the season for giving.