Jaci Fong is one Mama Sayville should be proud of! She started a non-profit, Starfish Swap, that partners with Long Island schools, churches and community organizations to provide clothing and accessories for students in need. Each August, Starfish Swap creates a Back to School Boutique that provides articles of clothing, shoes, and accessories for students to “shop” with their families at no cost for back to school wardrobes. Starfish Swap distributes approximately 1,7000 articles to students at each event!
We interviewed her for #meetamom – see what Jaci had to say below:
How many children do you have and what are their age(s)?
I have one incredible three year old son.
How long have you lived in Sayville? What made you decide to live here?
I grew up in West Sayville. After college I moved to Boston until my husband and I had our first son and realized how incredibly hard it would be to have an infant 5 hours away from our family. In 2016 we returned to Long Island and have since purchased a home in Sayville.
What’s your favorite family activity?
We love Summer Concerts at the The Sayville Common Ground at Rotary Park! My husband is a musician and my son loves to play guitar so you can find us enjoying the concerts throughout the summer.
Where’s your favorite place to eat and/or shop in Sayville?
My family is vegan so we don’t find too many options to eat in Sayville, but we do spend a lot of time in Cornucopia Natural Foods! We also love a trip to Sweet Frog Sayville for non-dairy dole whip for a sweet treat.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I am terrified to speak in front of people, I MUCH prefer to work behind the scenes. As a teacher and director of a nonprofit I often find myself presenting in large crowds but it gives me extreme anxiety to do so. I am often told by others I am out going and a people person but talking to someone who I do not know makes me want to run and hide!!!
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My husband Andy! Together we have raised our son to be a kind, earth-loving, vegan despite the many opinions of others. He helps me be a better mother everyday by co-parenting 50% so that I can explore my personal and professional goals to show my son how important it is to always put others before ourselves.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I am the director and founder of Starfish Swap. We are non-profit organization located in Sayville. Starfish Swap provides clothing packages (think Stichfix) to children of families in need in our local community. We partner with school districts, organization, and churches who identify children who could benefit from our services. Each August, we create a Back to School Boutique that provides articles of clothing, shoes, and accessories for students to “shop” with their families at no cost for back to school wardrobes. Starfish Swap distributes approximately 1,7000 articles to students at each event!
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Starfish Swap would not be the amazing organization it is now without our volunteers and Sayville’s outpouring of support. The amount of donations we see in a year from this small community is beyond words. Last year alone our community donations have provided approximately 400 children clothing in the Sayville, West Sayville, Bohemia, Oakdale, Ronkonoma, Bayport and Blue Point communities. Beyond that your donations have helped us extend our reach to Alaska, Haiti, Central Islip and Wyandanch this past year. NOTHING would be possible without this community’s support.