In January 2013, 7-year-old Diana Hernandez peered into a book and read the story of Pinocchio at Twin Pines Elementary School in Brentwood. Her photo was the first of many pictures accompanying stories introducing Long Islanders to dozens of nonprofits in the monthly Volunteer Nation series.

As we begin 2016, it will mark the final full year of the LI Life series, which will end in February 2017 with the profile of the 50th nonprofit serving those in need in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The series has highlighted groups from every corner of the philanthropic universe:

  • Those serving children (First Book Long Island; Hugs Across America, CoDanceCo);
  • Those feeding the hungry (Food Not Bombs; Rock and Wrap It Up);
  • Animal rescue and service groups (Pet Peeves);
  • Groups focusing on sick or disabled children (Splashes of Hope, FREE, Life’s WORC), or those on the autism spectrum (Pop. Earth);
  • Advocates for the homeless (Birthday Wishes) and seniors (SeniorNet);
  • Environmental and historical groups (Garden City Bird Sanctuary, Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society);
  • Women’s rights groups (SEPA Mujer);
  • Those supporting veterans (Team RWB).The series expanded in 2013 to also feature local businesses and global corporations with Long Island offices whose corporate missions include a strong volunteer ethic: Henry Schein, Genser Dubow Genser & Cona law firm, NBTY.As the series enters its final stretch, let us know about nonprofits that should be featured. Email us at lilife@newsday.com, and put Volunteer Nation in the subject line. Beyond February 2017, Newsday will highlight worthy nonprofits on an occasional basis.To the leaders and volunteers of nonprofits here and elsewhere, thank you for embodying the essence that has served as the motto for the series:

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

advertisement | advertise on newsday

— Edward Everett Hale

— Tracy M. Brown, LI Life editor