MOHEGAN LAKE, N.Y. – The cold winter season will be a little more bearable for 150 adult residents of Mohegan Park, who received a generous coat donation Tuesday from My Brother Vinny, a Yorktown group.
“I love them. Every summer we have an ice cream truck come and we give them free ice cream,” said Paula Miritello, the group’s founder, about the assisted- living facility. “And in the winter you always see them without any coats. So I just walked in and asked ‘how can I help?’”
Miritello and My Brother Vinny, named for her late brother Vincent Miritello, collected donations at various locations between Oct. 15 and Nov. 17. The group accepted coats/clothing, shoes, pet food, and food for local shelters.
“This year we tripled the amounts of donations,” Miritello said. “We collected over 120 contractor bags full of clothing. It was amazing what we got.”
Leftover gift bags and clothing after Tuesday will now be donated to the Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry. The group will also donate children’s clothing to Yorktown Head Start for single mothers.
Miritello wanted to give special thanks to Kenny Beck, Sheri Legeret, Laura Cartolano, Christine Giorgio and the Yorktown Girl Scouts for decorating the holiday gift bags, Martin McGannon and the Yorktown Junior Corp, the Yorktown Volunteer Fire Department for allowing the group to store items in its bay, Club Fit for offering free gym passes in return for donations, Yorktown Subway, and many, many more.
Miritello organized a final donation party on Nov. 17 at the Yorktown Elks Lodge, where she literally rolled out the red carpet for the volunteers.
“I felt they were the real celebrities,” Miritello said.
Miritello said community members, and especially her former Yorktown High School classmates, have been very supportive with any fund-raiser the group does.
“I can just post a Facebook status and I’ll have a donation in seconds,” she said.
My Brother Vinny was founded in 2005 to honor the memory of her brother, who had cerebral palsy. The organization has expanded its list of events and donations every year, Miritello said.
“Everything’s in memory of Vinny.”