ABOUT HAVE A HEART Mission · History · Our Partners · Board of Trustees

The Have a Heart Community Trust.  We are there when you need us.

Mission top

Mission Statement

The Have A Heart Community Trust is dedicated to assisting individuals and families achieve sustainable independence.  We do this by partnering with select local charities, community based initiatives and social service programs to provide the financial resources for shelter, food, medical services and supplies as well as direct emergency relief to ourEast End neighbors. 

Tax Status

Have A Heart is currently exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  We are also classified as a public charity under Sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b) (1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code (Appendix B). 

History top

The Have a Heart Community Trust was founded in 1991 by Rose and John Dios.  Ever sensitive to the needs of those less fortunate, they invited friends for a pasta dinner and asked their guests to bring a bag of groceries to support the local food pantries.  Since that founding dinner, The Have A Heart Community Trust has grown considerably.  The Trust was established through a Declaration of Trust dated January 4, 1996.  However, as the charity has grown and changed, the mission has remained consistent – to help people in our local community thrive by lending a helping hand in times of need and crisis.

The purpose of Have A Heart is to provide direct relief to East End residents in times of individual and/or family crisis.  A request for "emergency" funding, from either one of our partner organizations, the individual/family seeking assistance or an interested third party, is made to Have A Heart in the form of a Grant Request Application (GRA).  If the GRA is approved by the Board of Trustees, the funds are either sent to the requesting partner organization (which has certified the legitimacy of the request) and sent to the individual/family or if the request is by the individual or an interested third party, then an area partner organization with a relationship with Have A Heart is identified and that organization affirms the need and receives the funds from Have A Heart and sends it to the needy party.
To request a Grant Request Application (GRA), please contact Have A Heart.  Partner organizations may retrieve and complete a GRA through a previously provided link.
All requests for funding must meet the following criteria: 1) the recipient must be a resident of the East End of Long Island; 2) funds must be for needs for the "necessities of life," namely, food, shelter, clothing, education or medical needs; and 3) funds cannot be used for religious, political or illegal purposes.
Have A Heart also provides funds for special requests, such as gifts and/or gift cards in December for distribution by our partner organizations as holiday gifts for those less fortunate.
While the fund has increased over the years, the number of people who require assistance has been increasing at a faster rate.  The challenges faced by members of our local community range from homelessness to children lacking basic school supplies, shoes and coats.  It has always been the goal of Have A Heart to be able to help in diverse ways and to be able to fulfill a need that otherwise would go unmet.  To that end, we have offered a wide range of assistance, including providing musical instruments for Southampton and Tuckahoe students who could not afford their own, sending underprivileged children to summer camp and providing financial assistance to pay electric, medical and fuel bills for individuals/families in financial crisis.  Have A Heart is able to reach people whose needs are often invisible to the community and may very well be your neighbor.

Our Partners top

The following is a list of our local partner organizations.  If you are currently a not for profit organization supporting the residents of the East End of Long Island and are interested in establishing a relationship with Have A Heart, please contact the Trust or a member of our Community Outreach Committee.         
    • The Human Resources Center in Southampton, The Food Pantries of East Hampton, Springs, Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton, Hampton Bays and Westhampton and Montauk.  
      These food pantries, which together serve over one thousand families annually, use Have A Heart donations to buy wholesale food items for their  clients (families of migrant workers, single mothers, the elderly and the infirm).  In addition to providing donations that help to stock the shelves of these pantries, Have A Heart provides direct emergency relief to families that are being served through these pantries.
    • Peconic Community Council.                                                                           We have worked with the Peconic Community Council to prevent the eviction of several individuals experiencing financial crises and helped to provide financial assistance to move individuals from homelessness to low income housing.
    • The East Hampton Community Council.
      We have supported back to school clothing and school supplies drives as well as subsidized a heating fuel campaign.
    • The Family Counseling Service.
      We work with FCS to serve families and children from East Hampton to Hampton Bays in the welfare and foster care systems. Have A Heart donations have supplied basic personal and household items, bedding and clothing as well as helped to keep electricity and heating on during cold winter months.
    • The Whalebone Landing Tutoring Project.
      Have A Heart donations have helped supplement the public's efforts to teach English to children of migrant workers and new immigrants.
    • Southampton Day Care Center.
      Have A Heart helps to fund the day to day operational expenses of this subsidized day care program in Southampton.
    • The Center for Prenatal Care at Greenport. 
      The CPC at Greenport targets women who have no primary care physician monitoring their pregnancies.  Have A Heart donations help to provide much needed infant and pregnancy supplies for these women.
    • South Fork Breast Health Coalition.
      Have A Heart donations help support women in need of transportation and other specific items related to their treatment.  We have also provided targeted giving to ease the burdens of families facing financial crisis as a result of ongoing illness.
    • Herstory at the Riverhead Correctional Facility. 
      Have A Heart responded to a request for grant money from this not for profit to create an anthology of stories which allows these women to have a voice and express themselves. This valuable project uses story writing to raise the self esteem of women in prison.   
    • Mission of Kindness 
      Have A Heart supports families facing significant financial burdens as a result of their children's illnesses.  Support has ranged from providing funds to purchase a much needed wheel chair to ensuring that fuel bills are paid.
    • Padoquohan Medicine Lodge
      Have A Heart has worked with this charity to address crisis situations such as upgrading substandard housing and purchasing a defibrillator. Donated funds go directly to the family in need to ensure a better lifestyle.
    • SAMP (Substance Abuse Mobilization Project) 
      Have A Heart helps to fund specific programs that seek to prevent substance abuse on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation.  Our donations assist in funding speaker programs and the reintroduction of people in recovery to the community. 
    • Independent Group Home Living Program 
      Have A Heart provided funds to purchase holiday gift cards for residents.
    • Seafield Resources 
      Have A Heart provided funds to Seafield to purchase gifts and gift cards for residents at various facilities.


Board of Trustees top

The Have A Heart Community Trust
Rosemarie Dios

Rose founded Have a Heart because she wanted to create a means of helping the less fortunate in our local community.  She notes that growing up in a small town her family faced financial hardship when her father died.  The community reached out to help their family of 11 children.  Rose says that she never forgot the importance of a helping hand and always hoped that Have A Heart would represent a community of neighbors helping one another.  And, today we believe that it does.  

Currently, Rose is a Certified Financial Planner, Senior Vice President, Investments at UBS Financial Service.  She has had the opportunity to sit on numerous boards over the last 25 years, including East End Women’s Network, Southampton Hospital, Southampton Rotary and the Retreat. Rose holds a BA from Albertus Magnus College.

Timothy Davis

Mary Slattery
William Wright
Bret Pahwul
Jan Rose
Geraldine French

John Lasurdo

Tricia Keane
Past Trustees 
Linda Miller-Zellner                                     Kevin Maple     
John Dios                                                  Maggie Sullivan     
Pete Gelb                                                  Kerry Carroll    
Celia Josephson                                          Christine Lennon    
Rusty Unger                                               Linda Coleman 
Robert Hauben                                           Lillian Hauben
Nancy Grady                                              Heather Fyfe

Current Officers 
President: Bret Pahwul
Immediate Past President
:  Bill Wright
Treasurer: Timothy Davis
SecretaryCatherine Gale


Trustees govern Have A Heart and they essentially function as the Board of Directors.  Only Trustees may serve as Officers.  The work of the Trust is conducted through its five Committees, each chaired by an Officer and comprised of Trustees, Past Trustees and Member volunteers.  The Committees and their responsibilities are as follows:

Grant: Processing funding requests;
Community Outreach: Identification of those in need and relationship                     management with partner organizations; 

Financial and treasury matters;

Documentation and website issues; and




P.O. Box 2316   ·   Southampton, NY 11969   ·   Phone: 631-287-1666   ·   info@haveaheartcommunitytrust.org