LPI Director Announces that “Giving Season” Shifts to April

As his Livingston-based charity continues to collect items for the homeless, Jeff “the Coat Guy” Friedman, founder and director of Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. (LPI), has announced that “ ‘Giving Season’ has officially moved to April.”
Friedman explains, “ ‘Giving Season’ is traditionally the period between Thanksgiving and Chanukah/Christmas. Many of us feel the charitable vibe. It’s the time of year when folks give of themselves with their time and money. Those living out on the streets, in shelters or way below the poverty line, are more than appreciative of whatever they receive along with the season’s good cheer.”
He continues, “But what happens to the same folks after New Year’s? Not too much. Their plight remains the same; it’s still cold outside during the night hours, they’re still hungry, and the very basics of life are financially out of reach. The same items we use in our everyday lives without a second thought.
“That’s why Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. (LPI) is announcing that ‘Giving Season’ has officially moved to April. Through my work with LPI, I see first-hand how Livingston’s kind donations are needed immediately. It’s the same every month, including April, for the ‘poor, homeless and disenfranchised.’ ”
LPI continues to seek donations of hotel-sized toiletries, new cosmetics, diapers sizes 4, 5 and 6, women’s products, furs to sell, family clothing, shoes and more. “These vital basic items go downtown for distribution the same week as donated by our philanthropic Livingston neighbors,” Friedman says. “The very poorest among us clothe their families without cost at LPI’s distribution partners thanks to Livingston donations. Please drop your items at the West Essex Tribune, located at 495 South Livingston Avenue, next to Shop Rite. Or email me for private pick-up at njhomeless@aol.com.”
As a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, LPI also accepts monetary donations, Friedman notes. “With virtually no overhead, 100% of local donations go toward saving for a vehicle (we’ve used our own cars for eight years) and purchasing items such as socks, gloves and underwear for immediate distribution to those who need them the most. Please mail donations to LPI, P.O. Box 247, Livingston, NJ 07039. Or, you can partner with LPI directly on Paypal at paypal/me.lpinj.”
Just last week, the Coat Guy says, “LPI volunteers distributed new, brand-name men’s socks to the homeless on the Saint John’s Soup Kitchen food line and in Peter Francisco Park, just outside of Penn Station in Newark. New men’s socks fall into the ‘most needed’ category for those on the streets. Remember, ‘If you see something, buy something’ for the profoundly poor, please. There are sales to take advantage of. It’s fun to shop for the homeless.”
In conclusion, Friedman says, “I’d like to quote American film director Mike Binder, who said, ‘The holidays are a rough time for the homeless, but it’s a year-round problem we have to solve.’ Livingston residents can help right now.”

Photo:     Will Lombardo, great-nephew of Jeff “the Coat Guy” Friedman, and his grandmother, Joyce Friedman, Jeff’s sister-in-law and a long-time LPI volunteer, distribute toiletries gift bags, soap and children’s bags on the food line at Saint John’s Soup Kitchen and Women’s Center in Newark.

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