Annual Event in Honor of Scott Martella, Former Communications Director for Suffolk County Executive Bellone
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced the Scott Martella Back-to-School Drive in partnership with the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless to provide supplies for underprivileged students before the start of the school year. The donation drive will be held in memory of Scott Martella, the former Communications Director for County Executive Bellone who was tragically killed last year in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway.
“Scott was a one of a kind public servant who deeply cared about giving back to those less fortunate in the community,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “As a former Smithtown School Board member, Scott had a passion for giving students the tools they needed to be successful. This event will help thousands of Long Island children while honoring Scott’s legacy and commitment he had to serving others."
Scott, who was 29 at the time of his passing, was widely considered a rising star in New York State government and public service. He impacted thousands of lives across Long Island and the state through his work in public service. Before the age of 30, Scott had already begun to assemble a list of accomplishments that included being the youngest person to be elected to the Smithtown Board of Education.
Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo established the Scott Martella Public Service Fellowship that is awarded every two years to a student, who like Scott, is committed to public service and has a passion for helping others. The Fellow will serve for two years at the Department of Labor, where Scott had served for over a year, and will focus on community outreach, similar to the work that he championed throughout his career.
Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory said: “Scott Martella was a truly special person with a passion for giving back. The mark he left on Suffolk County will not soon be forgotten. I want to applaud County Executive Bellone and LICH for continuing the legacy Scott began. Far too many Long Island families struggle with poverty, and programs like this school supply drive help ensure that every child starts their school year off on the right foot-with all the tools they need to succeed.”
Suffolk County Legislator Steve Stern said: “Our entire community plays an important role in collecting school supplies because all of our children need to start off the school year right. Scott Martella was an outstanding public servant who exemplified an active community coming together for an important cause. This effort of donating much needed supplies is not only critical for so many children throughout Suffolk County but also continues Scott’s legacy.”
The goal for this years drive is to prepare 5,000 backpacks filled with school supplies for children who are homeless or at-risk on Long Island. Last year’s event was a huge success having collected and assembled nearly 3,500 backpacks - making a difference for Long Island’s homeless youth population.
Scott had previously worked with the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless on a myriad of projects and events including school supply drives, coat drives, holiday events and the annual point in time homeless count.
Greta Guarton, Executive Director of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless said: “Scott Martella was an amazing public servant who would have been truly proud to see our communities and public officials, like County Executive Bellone, coming together to help meet the needs of residents who are less fortunate. It is startling to think that in 2017 there are more than 1,800 children in Nassau and Suffolk Counties who are homeless but because of the collaboration and support of events like this one, we are able to help meet the critical needs and have a positive impact on the people we serve."
John O’Neill, Commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Social Services said: “I would like to thank the LICH for partnering with County Executive Bellone to provide the most needy children with a new backpack filled with the necessary tools to help them succeed in school. This will be a welcome relief for the children and parents and will also serve as a reminder for the children and families to know that there are people and organizations such as the LICH that truly care about them. This year, the drive will have a special meaning for Suffolk County knowing that each backpack that gets delivered honors the memory of Scott Martella”
Drop off locations are conveniently located throughout the county at the following locations:
• Office of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone - 100 Veterans Memorial Hwy, 12th Floor, Hauppauge;
• Office of Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory - 15 Albany Avenue, Amityville;
• Office of Legislator Steve Stern - 1842 E. Jericho Turnpike, Huntington;
• West Islip Library - 3 Higbie Lane, West Islip;
• Huntington Library - 338 Main Street, Huntington;
• Hauppauge Library - 601 Veterans Memorial Hwy #100, Hauppauge;
• Brookhaven/Roe Y Center - 55 Buckley Rd, Holtsville;
• Patchogue Family YMCA - 255 W. Main Street, Patchogue;
• TSLI/HHB - 840 Suffolk Avenue, Brentwood;
• C3 Church - 320 Broadway Greenlawn Road, Huntington;
• Raymour and Flanigan - 1645 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale;
• Elwood Library - 1929 Jericho Turnpike, East Northport;
• Nail Image, Inc - 167 Park Avenue, Amityville;
About Scott Martella
A life-long residents of Smithtown, Scott received his B.A. in International Business from Boston University in 2008. During his studies, he spent a semester in Washington, D.C., where he developed his love for public service and government. After graduating, he returned to Long Island to work on the campaign of a local state senator and was elected to the Smithtown Board of Education at the age of 22. Scott began his work with the Governor’s Office in 2011. From 2011-2015, he served as the Governor’s Suffolk County Representative at the New York State Department of State before being promoted to Long Island Regional Representative for the New York State Department of Labor. While working for this administration, Scott built and maintained strong relationships with leaders in the community and impacted the lives of thousands across Long Island and New York State. He also served as Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s Director of Communications.
About the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless
Originally founded as the Nassau-Suffolk Partnership for the Homeless in 1985, the purpose of the coalition has expanded to include the coordination of homeless services provided by more than 125 agencies through the development of the Continuum of Care groups in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Since 1995, LICH has also coordinated applications to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for homeless funding. LICH's successful coordination of the Continuum of Care applications have resulted in over $10 million in funding each year. LICH has also provided technical assistance to organizations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties whose services do not meet the criteria for HUD funding, but are essential for meeting the needs of the homeless.
For information on additional drop off locations as they become available or to host a drive, volunteer, or to donate, please visit www.addressthehomeless.org or call 631-464-4314.