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LI homeless coalition seeks swim gear for annual 'Pirates' event

The Long Island Coalition for the Homeless is looking for donations of bathing suits and towels for its Back Pack Pirates event next month after some children had to swim in their clothing in the past.

"It becomes harder and harder to get these types of things," said Greta Guarton, the group's executive director. "We want them [the children] to get the full experience and stay dry."

On Aug. 26, the coalition will partner with Holiday Magic and Every Child's Dream to host the eighth annual summer camp event for homeless and at-risk youth.

Children of all ages participate in activities such as swimming, sports and a pirate-themed treasure hunt at the Dorothy P. Flint 4-H Camp in Riverhead. At the end of the day, each child receives a backpack filled with new school supplies.

This year, "the idea is to supply them all with bathing suits and towels," Guarton said. "Each year it gets more difficult [to find swimming supplies] so we decided to reach out to the community as a whole."

Any towels or bathing suits for boys and girls ages 5 to 18 in new or like-new condition can be dropped off at the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless office at 38 Old Country Rd. in Garden City or at the law offices of Russo, Karl, Widmaier and Cordano at 400 Townline Rd. in Hauppauge. Donations will be accepted until Aug. 22, officials said.

School supplies for the backpacks can be donated through the second week of August at any of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless participating locations. A complete list can be found at Last year, more than 400 children who attended the camp and about 800 other children received backpacks.


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