Editor’s Note: This week, Living-ston Philanthropies, Inc. founder and director Jeff Friedman explains, in his own words, how the Livingston-based charitable organization needs volunteers, thanks in large part to the continuing generosity of Livingston residents donating to the organization.
By Jeff Friedman
Volunteerism can be defined as “the policy or practice of volunteering one’s time or talents for charitable, educational, or other worthwhile activities, especially in one’s community,” or, “the basic expression of human relationships… it is about people’s need to participate in their societies and to feel that they matter to others.”
Livingston Philanthropies, Inc., (LPI), which continues to grow and literally take on a life of its own, is offering local volunteering opportunities for those who own an SUV or larger, and have at least two free hours available some weeks. What is it really like to spend quality time with us? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore possibilities.
A “Day in the Life”
Of a Volunteer
“This is so exciting,” emoted an exuberant Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. long-time volunteer and board member, Joyce Friedman, as we recently loaded Neil Greco’s pick-up truck for delivery to the homeless and those living below the poverty line. Neil, a Livingston business owner and multi-year LPI volunteer, always offers his vehicle, muscle power and work ethic to “provide for the poor, homeless and disenfranchised.”
“OK, let’s roll,” he said, while jumping into the cab.
LPI volunteers were all set for delivery to both a new distribution partner and another highly-effective organization which has been with us for years.
We made a quick stop at The Apostles’ House in Newark, our newest distribution partner, as mentioned in last week’s edition of the Tribune. Housing homeless women, children and babies, Livingston’s extreme generosity provided warm children’s coats and winter accessories just in time for our current chilly weather. Thank you, neighbors, and keep ’em coming, please.
Next, we headed for the southern part of Broad Street to Newark Emergency Services for Families (NESF). LPI’s good friend, Markisha Deville, program director for the Supportive Assistance for Individuals and Families (SAIF) Program at NESF, and her staff were there to greet us and lend a helping hand. “A great big thanks to Livingston Philanthropies/Coat Drive for your ongoing support since 2014,” she commented. “Your program is much needed and appreciated here at NESF and in Essex County.”
The SAIF Program assists individuals in their goal of leaving welfare and becoming a part of the working class. Ms. Deville told the story of a recent client who was made ready for the job market. “With the job training and coaching he’s received from his SAIF intensive case manager, as well as receiving a suit and coat from Livingston Philanthropies, he is not only ready for his interview but ready to land that job!” she shared.
Help – and Donations –
Are Always Needed
I’m thanking our more-than-generous Livingston friends and neighbors for their kind and ongoing donations of warm coats, winter accessories, small sized toiletries, new cosmetics, diapers, women’s products, men’s dress attire, and so many other needed items. With the change of temperature, those who are out on the cold streets or are living below the poverty line need assistance more than ever. That means I’m asking Livingston residents to dig deep, wide, and far, for coats and garments not being used. Individual donations are the backbone of LPI’s success in making a difference.
I’d like to close with these very wise words of Muhammad Ali: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”
Photo: Neil Greco, a second year LPI volunteer, experiences the joy of giving and making new friends while delivering over 100 warm coats and winter accessories to Newark Emergency Services for Families. Greco is shown here at center flanked by Emergency Assistance director Ms. Cody; Supportive Assistance for Individuals and Families (SAIF) case managers Messrs. Perry, Blakely and Garrett; and Newark Emergency Services for Families (NESF) program director Markisha Deville. (First names were not available.)