Hailey Amato, a freshman at Longwood High School in Middle...

Hailey Amato, a freshman at Longwood High School in Middle Island, held a two-week drive this summer in which she collected approximately $2,000 as well as hundreds of nonperishable food items and toiletries. Credit: Lisa Amato

A Longwood High School student with a rare genetic disorder has collected funds and food for individuals in need on Long Island.

Hailey Amato, a freshman at the Middle Island school, held a two-week drive this summer in which she raised approximately $2,000 and collected hundreds of nonperishable food items and toiletries ranging from soap to diapers for the local nonprofit Branches Long Island. She volunteers there each week performing tasks such as bagging bagels with her aunt, Lori.

Amato was born with 10q26 deletion syndrome, a condition that results from the loss of a small piece of chromosome 10 in each cell. She undergoes treatments including speech, occupational and physical therapy.

“I like to volunteer to help my friends and community,” said Amato, 15, who held the collection in conjunction with Rare Chromosome Disorder Awareness Day in June.

Amato said she spread the word about her drive by making a poster and emailing it to teachers in her school, as well as having her family share it on social media. She hopes to hold a collection again next year.

Amato, 15, is a member of her school’s Special Education Parent Teacher Organization and the Junior Buddies Club. In addition, she participates in the Nassau County Games for the Physically Challenged, a free decades-long sporting event sponsored by the county.

 — MICHAEL R. EBERT

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