Evelyn & Mike Kormanik
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank (1929-1945)"
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Evelyn and Mike Kormanik both lived in several areas of New York City before meeting, marrying, and eventually settling in Staten Island some 22 years ago. They both worked for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and retired after lengthy careers. Today, most of their attention is focused on the Staten Island Giving Circle, a community outreach group they founded in 2008 to raise funds and lend support to various charitable organizations across the country.
"There is so much need," Evelyn says, "and I go with Martin Luther King's philosophy that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others."
Evelyn and Mike have been active in volunteering all their lives – including working with an orphanage in Slovakia through their church - but their most expansive undertaking was to establish the "Staten Island Giving Circle" in 2008. Mike works right alongside Evelyn in this venture, and he's affectionately referred to as the CEO – Carry Everything Out. Evelyn invited like-minded, altruistic friends to jump-start her grassroots community outreach initiative. The first meeting drew 24 participants, and today the group has grown to 250 like-minded volunteers. Local schools, organizations, and individuals contact them whenever emergencies or needs arise.
This past year the group worked tirelessly on Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, and on October 28, 2013, (one day shy of the one-year anniversary of the horrific event), the Giving Circle dedicated a bronze plaque in memory of the lives lost on Staten Island in that event. Other on-going projects include providing monthly luncheons/activity days for a large group of senior citizens; bi-monthly birthday parties for more than 100 children in local homeless shelters, collection of more than 500 prom dresses for inner-city students, distribution of some 400 filled backpacks each September for back-to-school, and the never-ending collections of food for the 37 pantries on Staten Island. Nearly $90,000 has been distributed over the years to organizations such as Alzheimers, Juvenile Diabetes, Wounded Warriors, Autism Speaks, and Crohn's & Colitis, as well as many local charities.
Evelyn Kormanik, Staten Island Giving Circle