SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Suffolk County woman who is helping families in need during the pandemic while saving restaurants in the process has been named 2021 Woman of Distinction on Long Island, and that’s just the beginning of the good she’s accomplishing.
Diapers are piled in a Southampton garage, destined for families in need.READ MORE: 18-Year-Old Saadiq Teague Arrested After Being Spotted With AK-47 At Times Square Subway Station
It’s just Marit Molin’s latest act of kindness.
“We have collected about 15,000 diapers in less than two weeks,” she said.
She has spent the pandemic inventing ways to help people.
“She’s like the Energizer bunny. We have one project, she’s thinking of the next project, she’s thinking of the next family to help,” volunteer Chuck Macwhinnie said.
Thus the honor as Suffolk County’s Woman of Distinction, chosen from 18 nominees.
“Those of us who are dealing with people who are suffering through the pandemic are moved by her efforts,” Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming said.
Efforts kicked into high gear during extraordinary times.
“When you say the Hamptons, everyone thinks it’s all mansions and everyone is doing incredibly well, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many, in between the mansions, there are many deeply impoverished places in the Hamptons where people can’t afford food,” Molin told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine In New York: Walk-In Appointments Offered To All New Yorkers Over 50 At City-Run Sites
She founded Hamptons Community Outreach and raised $250,000 in cash and $70,000 in food to feed people in need and help struggling restaurants.
“I just quickly put the two together — people are hungry and the restaurants are struggling,” Molin said.
She helped enable restaurants to stay alive and pay it forward.
“We are still open and we are here to help our community,” said Connie Rodriguez, co-owner of La Hacienda Restaurant.
She’s mobilized an army of volunteers to deliver groceries and medical supplies. She also pays for free counselling and tutoring, along with activity packets to keep children busy during the lockdown.
On Tuesday, she paid for surgery for a man losing his eyesight and his job as a result.
In her free time, the mother of two leads a Girl Scout troop in the Shinnecock Reservation.
A trained social worker, she says helping people is her passion and changing lives is her fuel.
“There are endless studies that support the importance of volunteering … and I would recommend everybody to look around in their own community and ask, see how you can help,” Molin said.MORE NEWS: Discarded Tombstone Spotted On Empty Lot Raising Questions In Paramus
Molin says her work is far from done. There has always been need in the Hamptons and that will continue well after the pandemic.