LHS Class of ’69 Alumnus Aids LPI: Former Resident Collects Socks for Homeless

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Livingston Philanthropies, Inc.’s (LPI) long-time partnership with Livingston’s West Essex Tribune paid additional and continued dividends this week. Barry Shapiro, who is, like LPI’s founder and director, Jeff Friedman, a 1969 graduate of Livingston High School, had been reading at his home in Florida online Tribune pieces featuring LPI. LPI’s work inspired Shapiro to start his own “Studio on 60 Sock Drive” from his framing business in Vero Beach.
“This began because of your efforts,” Shapiro told Friedman. “I’d seen for several years the coat drives and admired what you’d done. After Trish Duffy passed, you had posted something about collecting shampoo and stuff like that,” he continued. “I thought, why not do something to help, and after looking into it, learned that socks are the number one requested item by homeless shelters.”
Friedman said he was “thrilled” to receive two large boxes of new men’s socks, shipped from Florida by Shapiro. “I knew that Barry conducted a successful drive and planned to ship socks, but who knew LPI would receive hundreds? How cool is that?!” the “Coat Guy” commented.
“I was blown away by people’s generosity,” Shapiro added enthusiastically. “I posted on Facebook, put up fliers in my studio and around town, and set up collection boxes in four local sites – my studio and three businesses – and the socks came rolling in!” With 580 pairs of new socks collected, Shapiro had enough to ship hundreds to LPI, along with additional organizations who “help feed, clothe and shelter the homeless here in Florida as well as in New York City,” he said.
“Barry’s heartfelt collection in Florida is representative of one way that our generous neighbors and local organizations can help,” said Friedman. “The ‘poor, homeless and disenfranchised’ need everything. That’s why our ‘Personal Shopping for the Homeless’ initiative has become so popular in Livingston. Whether scanning for sales on men’s socks, shirts, coats, underwear or gloves online or in our many highway stores, ‘if you see something, buy something.’ ”
Donations may be dropped at the offices of the West Essex Tribune, located at 495 South Living-ston Avenue, next to ShopRite. Livingston Philanthropies continues to collect items throughout the summer months. Financial contributions to LPI’s vehicle fund may be mailed to LPI, P.O. Box 247, Livingston, NJ 07039 or handled through Paypal at paypal.me/lpinj. “Please email me at njhomeless@aol.com for further information or discussion,” said Friedman.

Photo:
    Barry Shapiro, former Livingston resident and 1969 LHS graduate, ran a men’s sock drive out of his Vero Beach, Florida framing business on behalf of LPI. Shapiro was inspired by the West Essex Tribune’s regular pieces focusing on LPI, which he reads online. Here, he is preparing cases of socks for shipping to Livingston.

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