Tuesday, November 30, is GivingTuesday, a global generosity movement, and here on the East End there is no shortage of organizations that do great work in the community.
GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a way to encourage people to give on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
We asked real estate agents what organizations they support, not only on GivingTuesday but all year long.
Chris Ritchey of the Hovey | Ritchey Team at Compass volunteers weekly at the Center for Therapeutic Riding of the East End (C.T.R.E.E.), an organization whose mission is to provide therapeutic riding lessons and equine-assisted services to children and adults with cognitive, physical, or emotional disabilities.
“I have been able to experience firsthand the incredible strides – pun intended – our riders take, even after only a few lessons,” he says .”To see a child usually in a wheelchair suddenly ‘walk’ with the help of a horse is indescribable. Likewise, working with an adult rider who is going through chemotherapy treatments finish a lesson with a huge smile on their face is life-changing.”
“As a Board of Directors member, I work with a fantastic group of fellow board members to help fundraise and further expand C.T.R.E.E.’s mission. I have chaired our annual Horses Changing Lives benefit at Sebonack Golf Club for the past three years, along with event co-chair Amalie Bandelier. Donations cover 80% of our annual operating costs, including care of our horses and scholarship support to financially disadvantaged participants. This benefit is a vital part of our fundraising efforts. C.T.R.E.E. is genuinely a fantastic local organization, and I’m incredibly grateful to be able to work with them.”
Mala Sander of The Corcoran Group and her husband Jeff Sander, who is the Mayor of North Haven Village, support Bay Street Theater and Sag Harbor Cinema, among others.
“I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a good deal of success in my business. I believe that my community is a vital part of that success, and I want to give back in a meaningful way,” Sander says. “I’m on the board of Bay Street Theater, which is currently undergoing a campaign to build a beautiful new theater right here in our village.”
The Sanders recently also made a substantial contribution to the Sag Harbor Food Pantry. “There’s never a better time to help those in need and reaching out within your own community is just the best thing you can do,” she says.
At Town & Country Real Estate, “We have what is called ‘the Town & Country Challenge.’ We challenge each and every associate to give their time, talent or tender!,” says Judi Desiderio, the CEO.
Giving back is important always but especially now, says Desiderio. “My husband is retired FDNY and was NYPD before joining the fire department. Our sons have been lifeguards since they were teenagers. The eldest (who is licensed with T&C) is FDNY, Ocean Rescue, an East Hampton Fire Department volunteer fireman and formerly EMS in New York City. We have associates who quietly have given their ‘time, talent or tender’ to so many great causes. One of our North Fork associates collects coats for kids every winter.”
Katie Schimpf of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty suggests CAST, the Center for Advocacy, Support and Transformation in Southold Town, the mission of which is to provide a safety net and promote self-sufficiency for North Fork Residents in need.
“CAST is holding their annual Festival of Trees event this weekend, December 4 and 5, where local businesses sponsor a themed tree. The trees are then bid on and all proceeds go to CAST,” Schimpf says. “This year Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty’s tree is wine-themed. Helping families in need especially after COVID is the most meaningful present in my eyes. This year I joined the committee and have fallen in love with CAST and their commitment in helping our community.”
Ann Ciardullo, one-half of the Ciardullo Green team at Sotheby’s International Realty, the main charity she supports is the Ellen Hermanson Foundation, which is committed to helping breast cancer patients and their families on the East End.
She sits on the board of the foundation, which she became involved with about 10 years ago after attending several fundraising events — most know its famous Ellen’s Run race held annually for 26 years. “Every penny we raise stays within The Hamptons community,” she explains. You can read more about her involvement with the Ellen Hermanson Foundation here.
Ciardullo and her partner in both business and life, Keith Green, also support the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center in East Hampton and Bay Street Theater.
Romaine Gordon at Saunders & Associates says she supports as many charities as she can, from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to various food pantries and Meals on Wheels. “I also donate to the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center, the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons and Gimme Shelter Animal Rescue,” through which she adopted her “two four-legged babies,” Rosie and Lenny.
“Locally, my family and I support the Retreat throughout the year,” says JB D’Santos of Brown Harris Stevens.”This is a wonderful organization providing services such as domestic crisis hotline, shelter, violence prevention and educational programs — all free of charge.
His family also supports the East Hampton Library, “one of the best libraries in the country and a source of incredible programming for all ages,” he says, “And more globally, we are financial supporters of Komera, an organization that builds schools for girls in Rwanda. Their mission is to develop self-confident young women through education, community development, and health.”