A Stony Brook garage owner knows something about the gift of giving.
Brian Barton, owner of TEB North Country Car Care in Stony Brook Village Center, and more than a dozen employees and family members spearheaded a food drive that made 250 Thanksgiving dinners possible. The garage collected donations from community members that included canned vegetables, turkeys and more. Fifteen people joined in to help assemble 60 boxes, and then on Nov. 25, delivered them to homes of cancer patients and veterans from Plainview to Greenport.
Barton, who lives in Kings Park, said in addition to employees and family members chipping in to help, his customers have been extremely generous during the Thanksgiving drives. This year one regular donated 50 turkeys. Barton’s daughter Elaine, he said, is the one who makes all the phone calls and organizes where the meals need to go.
He has been heading up the food drives for a dozen years.
“It seems as if each year it’s getting bigger and bigger,” Barton said.
The proprietor, who is the former owner of Penney’s Car Care Center in St. James and Penney’s Waterside Car Care Center in Northport, is modest when talking about organizing the food drive as he says “it takes a village” to get it done.
“I would just like to thank everybody,” Barton said. “I can’t do this myself.”
He said this was the first year volunteers delivered meals to veterans after state Sen. Mario Mattera (R-St. James) became involved and connected them with the Northport VA Medical Center.
In a statement, Mattera thanked Barton and all of those who volunteered to help with the drive: “By donating Thanksgiving dinner to our veterans and those who are fighting cancer, his efforts helped show these men and women that their fellow Long Islanders support them.”
Gloria Rocchio, president of The Ward Melville Heritage Organization which oversees Stony Brook Village Center, described Barton as a modest and generous person who quietly helps others and donates to causes.
“He’s just amazing,” Rocchio said. “He’s constantly giving, and he’s always there for residents.”