LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — There’s a special new home for a special group of young adults on Long Island. They call themselves the Cupcake Crew.
CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan first told you about “Special Sweets” on Valentine’s Day. Since then, viewers and donors have come forward to help the nonprofit and the deserving bakers.
Eight special needs students frosted cupcakes, mixed flour and eggs, and were overjoyed at their brand new commercial kitchen.
We first met them on Valentine’s Day, when they were baking inside their former schoolteacher Patty Castrogiovanni’s home in Carle Place.
“We started in my kitchen and when you came to visit us the first time, and now here we are,” said Castrogiovanni. “Look at this beautiful space.”
Nassau Boces saw our story and offered their underused kitchen in Garden City. Happily, at the same time, CBS viewer Andy Cioffi of Create Hope stepped forward.
“He happened to have seen your segment on CBS and he reached out to us immediately and wanted to help. He donated $10,000 to us,” Castrogiovanni said.
“They’re an amazing group and they really pour their hearts and everything. It’s uplifting to be around them,” said Jennifer Reynoso, a Special Sweets volunteer.
The students have been together since kindergarten.
“I joined the Carle Place School District when they opened up the program. So I came in with them when they were five,” said Lisa Brienza, a Special Sweets volunteer and former teacher.
But when they graduated and aged out of the program, Castrogiovanni sought state approval and launched the nonprofit.
Teamwork means serving real customers.
“We’re all excited. We have like 200 employees here in the building,” said John McGee, a Nassau Boces security employee.
“Now every time I step out of my office it smells like a bakery. It’s great. We’re so happy to have them here as part of our Boces family,” said Anthony Fierro, Nassau Boces facility manager.
“Special Sweets” has several dozen loyal customers who order their favorites online and the Cupcake Crew helps deliver door to door.
“We’re happy. We cry together, we do everything together, We love them,” said Mary Alice Abraham, a Special Sweets volunteer.
The “Special Sweets” students wanted to especially thank the CBS2 viewers who donated and the volunteers helping make them feel needed and successful.