The Smithtown News: Investing time, money to help others

Giving to others comes easily for benevolent businessman Michael Hanley, 28, of Kings Park.

Mr. Hanley is the creator of Networking for a Cause, an organization that raises money, food, clothing and toys for various charities likes to make a person’s life just a little better.

“We like to brighten people’s lives,” he said.

A golf outing and toy drive to benefit Angela’s House, a clothing drive to help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island and a food drive to assist the St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank at St. Joseph are some of the ways Networking for a Cause gives back.

“Angela’s House is all about helping children with special healthcare needs and knowing that someone cares goes a very long way,” said Bob Policastro, director and founder of Angela’s House. “It’s been fantastic to have someone step in and help the way that Networking for a Cause does.

The numerous donations come solely from members of the Irish Business Network, which was founded by Mr. Hanley. The IBN is an organization composed of Long Island business owners and professionals who invest the time and money in development programs.

“We started out with six members and now we have 180,” Mr. Hanley said. “Last year, we raised $2,600 for Angela’s House. We seem to be getting better and better.”

Impressed by Mr. Hanley’s drive to help others, IBN Member Patrick Byrne is more than happy to be a part of the organization. “For a shy guy, Mike is a formidable force. He has done a remarkable job,” Mr. Byrne said. “The main goal of the organization is to help people in need, which we are doing.”

Fellow IBN member Michael Sullivan agrees. “Mike has turned the Irish Business Network into a charitable organization,” he said. “Not only is IBN a place to make great professional connections, it is a perfect opportunity for us to help people.”

In addition to helping others, IBN hosts a television show on Cablevision’s Channel 20 Mondays at 7 p.m. “We do a half-hour show where two members are interviewed and they talk about their involvement in the community,” Mr. Hanley said. “It is also a way for people to learn more about the Irish Business Network.”

The show will run from October through April.

“I started the organization looking for a common bond that would bring people together,” Mr. Hanley said.

Mr. Hanley certainly accomplished his goals since there is no better common bond than helping others.

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By Ursula Moore

The Smithtown News – February 5, 2009