Five days a week at 10 outreach posts throughout Suffolk County, Lighthouse Mission of Bellport serves hundreds of people by providing them with food, groceries, clothing and prayer.
Last year (2022), the nonprofit saw a huge spike in those that it served—120,367 people, to be exact—up 9 percent from 109,509 people in 2021. Though the worst number the mission has ever seen was the 151,340 served in 2012, yearly numbers have been pretty steady on a month-to-month basis.
How do they know? Simple. According to pastor Jim Ryan, the mission requires signatures of every recipient, not used for anything other than counting for the purpose of adequately loading the trucks at each post and for the yearly service numbers.
Lighthouse Mission, he added, relies solely on donations from individuals; despite the increasing need, the amount of donations has currently stayed the same.
“We need your help to continue,” he said, desperate for donations.
WHAT THEY NEED
Other than the obvious request for nonperishables, Lighthouse Mission is currently in desperate need of gloves, hat and coat donations.
“It’s a pretty desperate situation out there,” Ryan explained. “It’s cold, and we’re out of hats and gloves.”
All he can do at this point, he said, is pray. The coats, gloves and hats, he explained, are not going overseas, but rather to cold and needy neighbors as close as Patchogue, Bellport and Coram. (To donate, visit the Lighthouse Mission at 1543 Montauk Highway in Bellport.)
The Lighthouse Mission is open on Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s located at 1543 Montauk Highway in Bellport. Call 631-758-7584 for more information or visit its website at LighthouseMission.com. To donate funds, go to LighthouseGIVE.com.