SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A national honor has been bestowed upon a local nonprofit, and it’s coming on four wheels.
A brand new SUV will be delivered in December to Hamptons Community Outreach, an organization that works to dispel the myth that The Hamptons are only for the wealthy, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Monday.
The work is neither glamorous nor lucrative. There is a part of the Hamptons you don’t hear about.
Tucked between the mansions and celebrities, there are deep pockets of poverty.
“When people hear the word ‘Hamptons,’ they just assume that everyone is wealthy. So we really want to show everyone how people live out here, and with so much overwhelming wealth out here, it shouldn’t have to be like this,” said Marit Molin, founder of Hamptons Community Outreach.
The nonprofit is helping repair unsafe homes. One Gusoff saw belongs to a young family that lost a mother. The nonprofit, using labor and supplies donated by volunteer contractors Forden & Co. and Riverhead Building Supply, fixes dangerous holes, shoddy electrical work, and, in at least one case, a broken furnace.
The volunteers don’t do it for recognition and yet the nonprofit won Land Rover’s first “Above and Beyond Service Award” for urban improvement.
The prize? A Land Rover Defender.
“Because of you, we will be able to do so much more work to help marginalized families,” Molin said.
It took a village to earn the distinction. High schoolers created the winning video entry.
“It was really eye opening,” 10th grader Wyatt Race said.
“Never thought in a place that looks so nice, there could be such terrible conditions that people have to suffer through,” 10th grader Ronan Brady added.
Hamptons Community Outreach was nominated by someone in the community, but has no idea who. An anonymous nomination pit it against 350 other nonprofits.
“Because of this vehicle, we will be able to deliver a lot more food, we’ll be taking elderly and children to medical appointments and will be able to transport building equipment to a project like this,” Molin said.
The same day it won the SUV, Hamptons Community Outreach helped a single mother pay off her car.
Brandon Gardener, a single dad who got help from the foundation, is now giving back.
“It’s like hitting the restart button and a lot of us need it,” Gardener said.
The Defender will arrive December. Volunteers promise it will never be idle.
Land Rover awarded seven Defender SUVs around the nation to groups in different categories, including first responders, fire safety, and more.