There is an amazing gift giving program in Southampton Village spearheaded by Heart of the Hamptons that is now in its 28th consecutive season. Dubbed the Holiday Star Program, it entails giving back to those in need, in a unique and wonderful way. Delaney Jones, Heart of the Hamptons Program Coordinator, along with Terry Stubelek and Linda Stengel are running this year’s Holiday Star Program. This program is just another exemplary way Heart of the Hamptons supports the community.
Jones, a Tuckahoe native, was all heart as she explained the nuts and bolts of the program. She told Hamptons.com, “For 28 years, we have been running the Holiday Star Program. Every year, paper stars are put out and displayed around town in churches and local businesses for community members to pick up. Each star represents a gift for a child in need.” Jones added, “On each star, there will be information like a boy, age 8, a toy, or it could be a toy for a girl, age two.”
She explained the difference this year is that even though you still pick up the stars at the usual places around town that are listed on the Heart of the Hamptons website, instead of bringing the gifts back there, participants should bring the gifts to the First Presbyterian Church (2 South Main Street, Southampton). “In the past, we have had the gifts returned to the place where the star was picked up, with distribution at the First Presbyterian Church. This year, all gifts to be donated are to be dropped off at the church by Thursday, December 10th,” she noted. “The drop off time for the gifts is Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The stars are already out on display around town at the locations.” She mentioned she is sensing a wonderful momentum to help even more this year because 2020 has been such a difficult year for all the obvious reasons.
The week following the final drop off date, Heart of the Hamptons staff and volunteers will distribute the presents to food pantry customers. She explained, “Everyone who comes to our food pantry is registered. They sign up for an appointment time and come pick up the gifts.”
Jones noted that this being the 28th year of the program is a testament to the heart and soul of the Southampton community and its commitment to giving, not just because of COVID-19 – but because it has been the right thing to do for the last 20 plus years. Amazingly, there are people who once received this holiday gift now picking up stars and contributing to those in need this year.
Stars can be found at 27 Hampton Salon, Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons, Fowler’s Garden Center, Hildreth’s Home Goods, La Carezza, LoveShackFancy, Our Lady of Poland, Pellegrino’s Pizza Bar and Restaurant, People’s United Bank, Rogers Memorial Library, Schmidt’s Market, Southrifty Drug, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and The Basilica Parish of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.
In closing, Jones said, “Also, if community members would like to volunteer to distribute gifts during the week of December 14th, they can email [email protected].”
For more information about Heart of the Hamptons and the Holiday Star Program, visit heartofthehamptons.org.