Fraternal twin brothers from Melville have been helping those in need, on Long Island and in other countries, by collecting everything from children’s books to sports equipment to prescription eyeglasses.
Cole and Cory Rappaport, 17, seniors at Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills, started the effort about two years ago through their nonprofit — Twin Brothers on a Mission.
The organization began by distributing new and gently used items to shelters and outreach centers on the Island. It since has expanded to other countries, including Ethiopia, India and the Philippines. The items are sent overseas through mission programs at St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church in Brentwood, they said.
The brothers, who have placed collection boxes in several local stores and in medical offices, said they were inspired to give back because they were born prematurely, at 28 weeks.
“My parents always told us how lucky we are to be healthy, active kids,” Cory said. Of the donations, he said: “It’s hard to quantify how much we’ve collected, but it’s been unbelievable.”
The brothers also are executive board members of their school’s Sustainability Club and members of the National Honor Society and honor societies for business and Spanish. In addition, they are co-captains of the school’s varsity golf team and are on the varsity badminton and fencing teams.