Michael Pitera, an Islip resident and the founder of Santa’s Ladder, says he’s always wanted to find a way to help local people during the holidays.
“I’ve been wanting to adopt a family and help children as much I can,” said Pitera.
So after spitballing ideas with family members and employees of his DJ company, Partners in Sound Long Island, he thought about helping out an Islip School District student.
In October, Pitera, 32, approached the school’s social worker, who helped connect him with a family that’s down on its luck.
Now, Santa’s Ladder’s goal is to gather as many toys as possible while raising $1,000 to give these neighbors an awesome holiday. The family has two young children — one is in elementary school; the other is in middle school.
“All the overflow we raise will go to help the children at Stony Brook’s Children Hospital,” says Pitera.
To promote the charity, Pitera is hosting a free holiday party on Monday, Dec. 18, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the American Legion Hall Post 411 on 39 Nassau Avenue.
Santa’s Ladder will be collecting money as well as unwrapped gifts at the party.
“This party will be the last time you can bring an unwrapped gift or any money donations for the families,” said Pitera.
And this is just the start for Santa’s Ladder.
“I want to adopt a different family every year,” said Pitera.
If you can’t make the party, visit the GoFundMe page.
To donate an unwrapped toy, here are the local drop-off locations:
Lulu’s Hair Studio
528 Main St, Islip, NY 11751
Vintage Talk of New York Barbers
543 Main St, Islip, NY 11751
Islip Cleaners & Tailors
464 Main St, Islip, NY 11751
Top: A GreaterBayShore file photo from the 2016 Christmas Parade in Islip Hamlet.