Bryan Antico knows a thing or two about volunteering. A junior at Smithtown High School West, he has spent the past year helping to run Friday and Saturday bingo nights at St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown.
He mingles with vision- and hearing-impaired senior citizens and helps them keep track of their bingo cards.
"Students like Bryan offer some socialization and companionship to our residents. It's important for them to retain that intergenerational contact," said Heather Reynolds, center director of therapeutic recreation.
And that's just the start of Antico's volunteer efforts. He also serves holiday meals to homeless children in Sayville, collects and donates gently used clothes to local churches and veterans groups, and does paperwork for Korea-Cold War Families of the Missing, a family advocacy organization.
"There's always people my age that ask me what's the point of community service," said Antico, 16. "For me, a simple 'thank you' is enough."
He credits his mother, Diane, with instilling the value of volunteering in him at an early age.
He is part of his school DECA and Students Against Destructive Decisions clubs.