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Where Philanthropy Branches Out

Photo by: Margarita Espada

     The Greentree Foundation, named after the Whitney family home in Manhasset, was established in 1982 by Betsey Cushing Whitney to support groups that want to improve education and lessen social and cultural tensions. Today, Greentree’s mission is the advancement of peace, human rights, and cooperation among nations. It also practices sustainable land and wildlife management and supports local charities through a fund created nearly two decades ago at the Long Island Community Foundation. The collaboration is a great example of two foundations working together to solve some of our community’s toughest problems. 

     In 2003, Greentree joined Long Island Community Foundation’s family of funds to ensure its grants address some of the Island’s most pressing needs. Since then, the Greentree Fund has given more than $2.2 million to a variety of causes—from after school programs and childcare to economic development and immigration issues.

Projects made possible, in part, by the Greentree Foundation’s generosity: 

Teatro Experimental Yerbabruja

An Arts Center to Revitalize

Photo by: Margarita Espada

     Central Islip frequently faces gang violence, crime, and cultural conflicts. Its downtown commercial strips and storefronts have been neglected, and the community lacked a safe space for residents to get together. An array of Central American immigrants and African American residents bring a rich culture to the area, but they needed a place to gather. By pooling grant money, including funds from the Greentree Foundation, LICF gave $20,000 so Teatro could open an arts center in downtown Central Islip. With enthusiastic backing from the community, the arts and cultural center has helped bring diverse ethnic groups together, revitalized neglected commercial space, and spurred economic development. 

Island Harvest
Feeding and Caring for the Seniors

Photo by: Anthony Brites

     More than 300,000 Long Islanders receive emergency food every year, a 21 percent increase since 2006. Because of LI’s high cost of living, seniors on fixed incomes are among the hungry. With Greentree funding, Island Harvest operates a twice-monthly senior mobile food pantry at the Glen Cove Housing Authority. The program serves nearly 90 low-income seniors a month, dishing out about 11, meals with fresh produce and other nutritional supplements. In addition, Island Harvest distributes non-food items, such as adult diapers and information on preventing falls, healthful living, exercise and other topics.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre
Well-being of Immigrant Children

Photo by: Marie Smith

     Over the past year, more than 66,000 unaccompanied children, mainly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, were apprehended trying to enter the United States. The increase in these arrivals is mainly due to extreme violence and poverty in their home countries. About 4,000 minors came to New York, and nearly two-thirds of them arrived on Long Island. These children suffer from extreme trauma, and mental health professionals are concerned about their well-being. In addition, anti-immigrant groups on the Island have created a hostile environment, adding to the kids’ stress and anxiety. Adhering to the Whitney tradition—the furtherance of peace, human rights, and international cooperation—a Greentree Foundation Fund grant to Catholic Charities is providing mental health services and collaborating with immigrant agencies to offer legal assistance.

"Working with the Long Island Community Foundation over the years, we’ve come to rely on its knowledge and expertise about the local region and critical issues,” said Richard Schaffer, President of the Greentree Foundation. “We capitalize on its thorough evaluation, due diligence, measurement of project results and oversight. It’s a great partnership.” 

Professional Advisor Fall Forum on Asset Protection featuring speaker Ray Radigan.
Photo by: Marie Smith

     The Foundation hosts meetings at Greentree for local and international philanthropies devoted to peace, human rights, and international cooperation. Greentree also has a close relationship with the United Nations and hosts meetings for the Secretary-General and numerous UN agencies. In addition, the Foundation opens its doors for educational meetings where the LICF invites local nonprofits to discuss regional problems. And Greentree’s educational forums for professional advisors promote charitable giving; these professionals, including lawyers, accountants and financial advisors, can then talk to their clients about the best ways to give back to the community.

Long Island Community Foundation | A Division of The New York Community Trust
900 Walt Whitman Road | (Rt. 110) Suite 205 | Melville, NY 11747
P (631) 991-8800 | Directions | Staff | Comments on the Website

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