Sag Harbor, NY- Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and her colleagues recognized Marit Molin of Water Mill as the countywide recipient of the “Suffolk County Woman of Distinction” honor during the March 16, 2021 General Meeting at the Suffolk County Legislature in Hauppauge. Later in the day, at 1pm, Ms. Molin was physically presented with her proclamation at the Sag Harbor district office of Legislator Fleming. Reverend Tina Pamela Norton, Chair of the Suffolk County Women’s Advisory Commission, and Grace Ioannidis, Director of the Office of Women’s Services came to the Sag Harbor office for the presentation.
Since 2003, in recognition of Women’s History Month, the Suffolk County Legislature has honored women in March recognizing and acknowledging the work they do to better their community and Suffolk County. One outstanding woman is chosen from each legislative district, and from that pool of honorees, an overall countywide winner is chosen by the Suffolk County Women’s Advisory Commission as the “Suffolk County Woman of Distinction.”
Ms. Molin is the founder and executive director of Hampton Community Outreach (HCO). At the outset of the pandemic and the sudden economic shutdown that followed, Ms. Molin wanted to find a way to feed people in need in her community and help struggling restaurants stay in business. She began a fundraising campaign that raised $250,000 in cash donations and $70,000 in food donations, helping her achieve both goals. In 2020, HCO delivered 5,000 cooked meals and 18,000 pounds of fresh produce. In addition, since March of last year, HCO has delivered groceries and medical supplies to 150 households biweekly and continues to do so.
A licensed social worker and practicing therapist, Ms. Molin saw the need for therapy among underserved individuals. She raised funds that were used to provide therapy for these individuals at no charge. She also started a tutoring program to help children in desperate need of academic support. Ms. Molin also created the #ICARE kindness campaign to raise funds to address the needs of marginalized people. Services have included urgent medical care for the poor and uninsured, birthday celebrations, and ongoing art and tennis instruction for children at no charge. Ms. Molin also founded Hamptons Art Camp in 2018 to provide a creative, active and fun environment for children from different backgrounds. Approximately 40 percent of campers attend for no charge.
Legislator Bridget Fleming, who nominated Ms. Molin as a resident of the Second Legislative District, said, “As this COVID-19 pandemic has brought strains and challenges to every member of our community, Marit has provided opportunities for girls and others to give of themselves to truly help their neighbors and community. Her initiative brilliantly served a double purpose. It has fed the hungry and offered a lifeline to local businesses in tough times. Every restaurant that participated is still in operation. Marit’s efforts shine and offer as a model for how volunteer service in the community has far-reaching and far-lasting beneficial effects on our community. She is well-deserving of the honor of Suffolk County’s “Woman of Distinction”.
“I commend all of these women for their dedication to their communities, their extraordinary leadership, and their unending generosity when it comes to giving their time and attention to worthy causes,” said Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Rob Calarco. “They are role models for young girls everywhere and the epitome of community stewardship. My colleagues in the legislature and I offer our congratulations and gratitude to Marit Molin and the other Woman of Distinction honorees.”
Ms. Molin has been a socially conscientious voice in the Hamptons community for many years and is a troop leader for Girl Scout Troop #642, which consists of 11 girls who live on the Shinnecock Reservation. She and her husband have two children.