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Jan 30, 2013 1:09 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Mission Of Kindness Is Mostly A Mystery

Jan 30, 2013 1:42 PM

While he is perhaps best known for promoting his “Mission of Kindness” organization, and wearing white suits and a pair of angel’s wings when attending East End social events, Jay Lockett Sears’s nonprofit appears to have been largely inactive in recent years.

The nonprofit, which has a Quogue postal box, most recently filed tax information with the state in 2010, according to financial records. Those records also list Mr. Sears, who was arrested last week on child pornography possession charges and most recently lived in East Moriches, as the only official with the charity and that, as of 2010, it reported approximately $18,000 in income and $472 in assets. It is not clear when the nonprofit was formed, though most records indicate it was either 2000 or 2001.

The organization’s mission statement is: “To support and advance the education of youth and mankind, to assist the needy, and to support the arts.”

Those who know 73-year-old Mr. Sears or came in contact with him through his charity describe him as a spiritual man who, after a near-death experience, decided to focus his energy into helping troubled families through kindness. Mr. Sears has previously said that, in November 1978 when he was living in California, he was supposed to fly to Portland, Oregon, to visit his brother but was haunted by dreams of the plane crashing. He said the plane he was supposed to take did crash, killing most of the passengers.

A short time later, as Mr. Sears told the story, he was approached by a stranger who told him he had an aura around him, and that he needed to go back to his home. It was then that he decided to return to the East End and give back to his community. He has often said that he was inspired by God to perform his acts of charity.

After creating Mission of Kindness, Mr. Sears would often approach families in need, and those with sick children, offering to donate money or throw fund-raisers for them.

A prominent architect before his retirement, Mr. Sears was also a well-known philanthropist. He donated his services in helping redesign the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center when it was converted from an old movie theater, and helped create the skateboard park in Hampton Bays. Additionally, he would often visit local schools to spread the word about his Mission of Kindness. In recognition of his charitable actions, Mr. Sears was named grand marshal of the 2001 Westhampton Beach St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Jim Margolin, a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Robert Nardoza, a public information officer for the U.S. Attorney’s office, both said they did not have any information about Mr. Sears’s organization. They also could not confirm if it has been active in recent years. Both said they could only confirm that he ran the nonprofit.

This week, a longtime friend of Mr. Sears’s, Linni Deihl of Quogue, said she does not know much about his Mission of Kindness. Ms. Deihl, who wrote a letter to the editor appearing in this week’s edition that asks the community to support Mr. Sears, said that her friend has always done good things for the community, and she hopes that people will not turn their backs on him in his time of need.

“I don’t abandon friends when they are in trouble,” Ms. Deihl said. “It sounds like, from a mental health standpoint, that someone’s tortured fantasy life from behind his own closed doors is now public. I will not abandon Jay.”

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Nice to see 27east doing real investigative journalism... hopefully this will bleed over into future stories on a wide variety of topics.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 30, 13 2:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, "real investigative journalism" is appreciated, however, accuracy is essential. This NYS not-for profit corporation was incorporated 12/5/2000, and its most recent IRS Form 990-EZ (for 2011) is dated August 2012, lists three Officers, $17,300 in revenue received, $15,250 in charitable grants made, and $1,951 in assets remaining. David Buda
By davbud (127), east hampton on Jan 31, 13 10:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
Hey Dave - 27east is new at this... cut them some slack haha
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Jan 31, 13 10:32 AM
So who are the three officers.
By realistic (472), westhampton on Feb 2, 13 8:12 AM
Google, Google, and Google. :)
By PBR (4956), Southampton on Feb 2, 13 8:50 AM
IRS filings for the entity list as the Officers, etc., the following: Jay Lockett Sears, Chairman; Layne Anapol, Vice President; and, Laurie Pitcher, Treasurer; all listing "P.O. Box 917, Quogue" as their "address." David Buda
By davbud (127), east hampton on Feb 4, 13 9:37 PM