The Nicholas Center, a Port Washington-based nonprofit focused on providing meaningful work and volunteer opportunities for adults with autism, has launched a new program that serves as a lifeline for neighbors in need.
Called Port Provides, Powered by The Nicholas Center, the program is aimed as an emergency supply chain for more than 1,400 adults, children and seniors. Initially started as a COVID response by the Community Chest of Port Washington, the Port Provides team of volunteers procures food, diapers and wipes, feminine products and other household necessities and delivers them weekly to local food pantries and community organizations.
“Port Provides brings together Port Washington’s most vulnerable citizens,” Nichole Sugrue, co-founder and executive director of The Nicholas Center, said in a written statement. “Our participants, who are all adults on the autism spectrum, are too often isolated from meaningful work and volunteer opportunities. But now, as they secure and deliver vital goods for their neighbors in need, they have developed immense pride in their work and deep connections to people in the community. The idea of raising each other up, with neighbor helping neighbor is precisely the idea behind The Nicholas Center. There are no better solutions for our biggest challenges than those we find in our own backyards.”
Although some of the items are donated, Port Provides purchases a good deal of the supplies needed, with costs running at around $25,000 a month. The program is seeking grants and other donations to offset the costs and is also asking help from the community.
“You can donate goods or help us fund our purchase of goods via a GoFundMe campaign at: Port Provides, Powered by The Nicholas Center,” Sugrue said. “We also welcome mitzvah projects, food drives, and other community efforts to support this work.”