In keeping with Valentine’s Day, area residents had the chance to express their love for one another at a fundraiser called Share the Love on Feb. 14. Held on Zoom, it benefited NOSH, a program of the North Shore Soup Kitchen, and collected over $3,500. “It was magical,” said Stephanie Sobel, a producer of the event.
NOSH, an organization that feeds approximately 600 families a week in Bayville, Glen Cove, Glen Head, Lattingtown, Locust Valley and Sea Cliff with emergency meal kits called NOSH bags, has been serving the North Shore since last March. The North Shore Soup Kitchen, originally housed at First Baptist Church of Glen Cove but now operating in the Church of St. Rocco in Glen Cove, “adopted” NOSH as its program in last July.
“I think redefining love is really important,” Courtney Callahan, a founder of NOSH, said. “NOSH is built on friendship. It’s knowing how to walk in someone’s shoes.”
Share the Love didn’t just celebrate the work that NOSH volunteers have been doing throughout the pandemic. It was an opportunity to celebrate the musical and artistic talents of the community, and feature more than 30 local musicians and artists.
“All of this was just way beyond anybody’s expectations,” said Sobel. “I think it really was the power of a caring community that is seeking to collaborate creativity to make a difference.”
Callahan said she was “blown away” by the talent and kindness in the community, adding that the camaraderie is something she believes is rare. “They all did it for love,” she said. “They’re sharing their gifts for people who are vulnerable and scared. It’s scary not being able to have enough money left over for food.”
A video slideshow featured paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography and other works of art. It was accompanied by local musicians playing and singing “Get Together,” by the Youngbloods.
“People were so willing, even though all of these people have a full schedule,” Sobel said. “Everybody is from the community that North Shore Soup Kitchen serves, so everyone feels connected.”
Local musician Frank Ferrara directed the music portion of the video and Roger Street Friedman did the sound mixing. Victoria Chong edited it, and Tracy Warzer and Kathleen DiResta helped integrate the art into the video.
DiResta pointed out that the fundraiser did more than raise awareness and support NOSH and the North Shore Soup Kitchen. It also provided local artists and musicians with an opportunity to share their creative skills with a wider audience.
“This was a community love project,” said Warzer. “We’re all friends. Everyone involved in the project knows each other. I think, above anything else, it’s an example of community-building and how people can pool their energy for a good cause to make a difference.”
Sobel and Callahan agreed that despite the fact that everyone was watching the event separately, from their homes, they felt a sense of unity in the art and the music, and the desire to make sure that no one in the community goes hungry. “Having delivered food myself for so long, I can tell you we deliver food to people who aren’t very far from our homes, or down the hill in Glen Head, in Sea Cliff,” Callahan said. “The thought of not befriending them makes no sense.”
State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Glen Cove Councilwoman Marsha Silverman and Sea Cliff officials were listening in, Sobel said, joining an audience of roughly 150 people.
The idea of a Share the Love fundraiser began to formulate as she practiced with her band LovePeace, she explained. “We really couldn’t perform, and we were practicing, and the song ‘Get Together’ came to mind, [which is] so inspiring,” Sobel said. “We started to think about what we could do to help.”
She and her bandmates had performed at an event for the North Shore Soup Kitchen at the K. DiResta Collective in the past, she said, which was when they became acquainted with the organization. “Two of us went to go see what they were doing over there at St. Rocco’s, at NOSH,” Sobel said. “We were just inspired, and said, ‘Wow, this is really great. Let’s do something wonderful.’”
As word of a virtual concert spread through the community, Warzer suggested including art in the virtual display. She also came up with the name for the event. Then other community members, along with volunteers from NOSH and the North Shore Soup Kitchen, formed a group to meet virtually to plan it.
“It was amazing how all these really talented people just want to help,” Sobel said. “Everybody wanted to do something to help to make it more effective, to lend their creative talent.”
The artwork that was featured in the slideshow is now on display and for sale at K. DiResta Collective, 212 Sea Cliff Ave. in Sea Cliff. All the proceeds will go to NOSH.
“Sharing the love,” Sobel said, “is really what it’s about.”
Visit www.Facebook.com/NOSH.NorthShoreFoodHelp/ for more information about NOSH and the Share the Love event.