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Long Island Maritime Museum partnering with special-needs group to expand volunteer program

The Long Island Maritime Museum, located at 86

The Long Island Maritime Museum, located at 86 West Ave. in West Sayville, was founded in 1966. (April 9, 2013) Credit: Brittany Wait

The Long Island Maritime Museum is expanding its volunteer program with a local nonprofit that works with people with intellectual disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injuries.

Participants from the Old Bethpage-based Family Residences and Essential Enterprises program will volunteer at the museum in West Sayville twice a week as part of the museum’s “Collections Care Crew.”

The program will be expanded in the spring so that area school districts can send their special education students to participate in the crew, which washes, polishes and maintains the museum’s collection of wooden boats.

An initial program ran from May through October.

“FREE’s collaboration with Long Island Maritime Museum has been highly beneficial to our individuals, and we look forward to growing the volunteerism program to imbue others with greater self-esteem and the importance of teamwork and communication so that they become work-ready,” said FREE’s chief executive, Robert Budd.

Stephen Jones, Long Island Maritime Museum’s executive director, said officials have felt “fortunate to have the FREE ‘Collections Care Crew’ with us for the season! This well-supervised group was always there week in and week out, keeping our Small Craft Building and the 60 display vessels within the building in top shape.” He said the old wooden boats require extra care to maintain them properly, and they appreciate the crew’s work. “We look forward to having them back in the spring.”

For more information, call 516-870-1622 or visit

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