In 2016, East Meadow resident and businessman Todd Weinstein was frustrated by the daily negativity he encountered on Facebook. In local neighborhood groups, there was a lot of complaining and bashing in the comments, but very few bright spots. To counteract this, Todd founded a group he named, “Nice Things that Happen in East Meadow.” The rules are simple. Only nice things about the town can be posted. No politics, no arguing, no negativity. The group has grown to over 3,200 members and in its early days, began local philanthropic efforts. Todd started what became an annual school supply drive to benefit the guests of the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen. Friends and neighbors collected brand new school supplies at the end of the summer and dropped them on his front porch. Some left checks and monetary donations, and before he knew it, they had collected over 1,000 items to equip school-aged guests with the proper tools to start the school year off right. Todd approached the Stew Leonard’s location in his town, and they not only donated bags to transport the items, but everyone who donated got a token for a free ice cream. The group members continue to look forward to this tradition each year.
Todd has also organized “EM2020 Vision,” collecting over 2,020 pairs of socks before the year 2020 began, which were donated to The INN. On New Year’s Eve 2019, Todd dressed as Santa Claus and shopped at the local Walmart store with donated money to buy the socks and reach their goal, while livestreaming video to the group. During the pandemic, while raising money through a football playoff betting pool for struggling local restaurants, he made sure to set aside a small monetary donation to The INN.
“People in general, I think, are good-natured and want to help,” Todd said. “Sometimes they just need an extra push to get involved.” We are truly grateful to Todd for giving the wonderful people of East Meadow the push they needed to Get INNvolved.