Livingston Residents “Create Smiles” with Their Generosity

Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. (LPI) founder and director Jeff “the Coat Guy” Friedman has reported that “philanthropic Livingston neighbors are creating smiles, words of good will and lots of ‘God bless you’s’ during visits to distribution partners in Newark and East Orange.”
Smiles also appear on the faces of volunteers from Livingston organizations who “are making a difference by collecting coats, toiletries, cosmetics, diapers and other items to help LPI provide for the “poor, homeless and disenfranchised,’ ” Friedman added. Just recently, volunteers from the Synagogue of the Suburban Torah Center in Livingston, under the auspices of its Men’s Club, arrived at Friedman’s home in a caravan of five station wagons full of coats, clothing and toiletries to donate to LPI. The synagogue-wide effort was led by congregant and Men’s Club member Stephen Greenberg.
Friedman also gave a “shout-out” to Livingston resident Theresa Sorce, who hand-knitted well over 60 wool scarves to support LPI’s needy communities. “Beautifully done, they come neatly folded and packaged for delivery,” he noted. “Items like these are simply not available to those living below the poverty line and are well-appreciated by all. Thank you, Theresa!”
Friedman continued, “Readers may recall that it was freezing on Thanksgiving Eve and Day. That worked perfectly for Temple Beth Shalom and Livingston Philanthropies. The synagogue was donating six frozen turkeys, but needed to get them to me on Thanksgiving Eve to accommodate busy holiday schedules. And, of course, the birds needed to be kept frozen solid for delivery to the Bessie Green Community in Newark the next day. Six turkeys appeared in my trunk when I checked the next morning, because a hearty temple volunteer visited the night before and had made ‘the big drop.’ For once, frigid temperatures were a positive for LPI volunteers!”
The Coat Guy said that Livingston residents continue to respond to the call for warm coats, gloves, hats and scarves to fulfill critical needs. Just this week, LPI volunteers delivered some 200 winter coats to the Family Success Center in East Orange and the United Missionary Baptist Church, also in East Orange.
“The success of our ‘Personal Shopping for the Homeless’ initiative is heart-warming, especially this time of year,” said Friedman. “Sales are rampant, both in stores and online. Please, ‘if you see something, buy something’ for those who are way less fortunate than we, and living only miles away in neighboring communities.”
In conclusion, Friedman said, “let us remember the words of Charles Dickens, who said; ‘No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.’ Thank you, kindly Livingston, and let’s keep those donations flowing, please!”

Photos: Above, volunteers from the Synagogue of the Suburban Torah Center in Livingston, under the leadership of the Men’s Club member Stephen Greenberg, filled Friedman’s driveway and street with five packed station wagons-full of coats, family clothing, and toiletries for distribution to the homeless. “The size of their donation, quite unexpected by me, was a fun and uplifting surprise,” commented Friedman. Below, little Ali, shown here outside St. John’s Soup Kitchen and Women’s Center in Newark, was the happy recipient of a new stuffed animal, courtesy of a generous Livingston donor. “Our volunteers try to keep a few stuffed animals in the car, just in case an opportunity to give them presents itself,” said LPI director Jeff Friedman.

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