Long Island Mamas is pleased to announce our June Mom of the Month. This month we have chosen to feature teacher and avid volunteer, Michelle Labuski of Sound Beach, NY, for her tremendous contributions in Long Island.
Michelle Labuski is a dedicated mom and community member. As a 6th grade math and ELA teacher who has worked in the Smithtown Central School District for the last 18 years, she serves on the curriculum-writing committees for both of these subjects.
Married to her husband for almost 15 years, this busy Long Islander relishes being mom to her 12 year old seventh grader, Matt, and 8 year old third grader, Katie.
In addition to her full time job and raising two children she teaches both kids’ religion classes, acts as her daughter’s Girl Scout leader, and lectures at her local church.
Michelle is an avid volunteer. She tries to involve her children, troop, and students by creating opportunities for them to volunteer and help others.
Michelle volunteers at a local soup kitchen, the Invited Inn at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rocky Point, with her religion classes and Girl Scout troop. Here the kids set the tables and help prepare some of the food choices. She is happy to see that the kids enjoy volunteering. Michelle stated that one of her Girl Scouts even went on her birthday to volunteer; when asked why she wanted to do this, she said, “I’m a Girl Scout – and that’s what Girl Scouts do – we help people. That’s what I should be doing on my birthday!”
In addition to helping at the local soup kitchen, the Brownie troop Michelle manages hosted a food drive to collect food for two local food pantries. She is proud of how the children have really learned how to support each other and their community.
Her volunteer efforts extend into the health arena as well. Michelle sponsored a blood drive last summer and will be hosting another one this summer. For the Autism Speaks organization, she has raised money by selling t-shirts, holding restaurant fundraisers, and hosting a dinner/dance/Chinese Auction at Atlantis Marine World Aquarium. Her efforts have raised a total of $26,000 over two years. As a result, Autism Speaks acknowledged her with an award for her outstanding achievements.
One of her current projects involves organizing a fundraiser for the Child Life Program at Stony Brook Hospital. The goal of the program is to raise funds to purchase items for the children to use during their stay there. These children are too sick to visit the playroom and would benefit greatly from items such as laptops, iPads, computer games, and more. Michelle has been gathering prizes for the raffle, soliciting ads for and creating the sponsor booklet, and promoting and selling tickets for the event. To help collect supplies, she organized an Arts and Crafts Supply Drive through her children’s school and created a website for the program.
If this wasn’t all already enough, this amazing mom makes sure she takes good care of her family, “It is important to me that my family has a hot home-cooked breakfast before leaving the house. Home-made lunch box. A sit-down home-cooked meal for dinner. Sundays are my Cooking Momma days. I have to stay organized and ahead of the game,” states Michelle.
One mom can make a difference in the lives of many others. Michelle has shown this is possible.
For more information on the Arts and Crafts Supply Drive, please visit www.helpchildlife.org.
By Tara Arichabala