LPI’s Holiday Season Blasts Off; 1,000 Coats and Jackets Delivered So Far

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Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. (LPI) “is mega-busy this time of year,” said founder Jeff Friedman. LPI, which has already delivered 1,000 warm coats and jackets to the homeless and profoundly poor, also  accepts winter accessories, toiletries, cosmetics, diapers, women’s products and more.  
Donations may be dropped at LPI’s partner, Livingston’s West Essex Tribune, located on South Livingston Avenue next to ShopRite.
“To make other arrangements, explore volunteer opportunities, or discuss keeping one’s monetary donations in Livingston, send me an email at  njhomeless@aol.com,” Friedman said. Contributions are  tax-deductible.
“I’m privileged to share LPI’s flurry of activity with our altruistic community,” Friedman continued. He reported on the successful donation drives by school and religious organizations, and the efforts to keep up deliveries to distribution partners in Newark and East Orange.
Religious Organizations:
The Men’s Club of Temple Beth Shalom held its annual coat and clothing collection to benefit Livingston Philanthropies. “Loaded SUVs kept  arriving at LPI ‘World Headquarters,’ (my garage),” said Friedman. The synagogue also donated ten frozen turkeys, which were delivered to Bessie Green Community in Newark by Livingston volunteers.
The Reverend Richard Vossler, pastor at Livingston’s Grace Lutheran Church and his wife, Lyn Vossler, visited LPI World Headquarters to deliver 51 toiletry kits, 24 children’s backpacks stocked with school supplies, and an array of clothing and coats. “These badly needed items are the yield from Grace Lutheran’s annual community outreach project for Livingston Philanthropies,” commented Friedman.
 The Synagogue of the Suburban Torah Center, for the second year, ran a major collection effort on behalf of Livingston Philanthropies. Once again, four loaded SUV’s provided  family clothing, warm coats and winter accessories to provide for those in extreme need. “It was like a veritable parade coming down my street,” Friedman said.
Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, a valued and multi-year Livingston Philanthropies collection partner, donated its first load of winter coats of the season. The school’s Volunteer Club, under the direction of faculty advisor and science teacher, Jenn Hess Mortensen, provides several hundred warm jackets and coats every year.
The early childhood students at JCC MetroWest in West Orange donated 180 winter coats from another highly successful coat drive for LPI. The drive is part of the school’s “Mitzvah Moments” initiative.
“‘Giving Season’ doesn’t need to end when the new year begins,” said Friedman. “Collins School, which will begin its annual coat drive for LPI in January, is emblematic of Livingston’s 12-month philanthropic opportunities.”
Numerous Deliveries
“The continued generosity of Livingston residents facilitated a busy period of deliveries,” said Friedman.
Bessie Green Community received a three-vehicle delivery of 84 coats, winter accessories, family clothing and shoes. LPI has been providing  Bessie Green with donations since 2012.
Willing Heart Community Care Center, a distribution partner with LPI since the beginning, benefited from another multi-vehicle delivery. Willing Heart offers no-cost family shopping for the homeless and profoundly poor.
United Missionary Baptist Church received over 180 winter coats and jackets, and Jewish Vocational Services, a new distribution partner for LPI, received warm coats and family clothing.
Newark Emergency Services for Families was the recipient of coats, toiletries gift bags and men’s dress attire for the service’s welfare-to-work program.
New Jersey Reentry Corporation’s closets and shelves “were overflowing with men’s dress attire delivered by LPI volunteers,” said Friedman.  “NJRC is all about teaching former prisoners how to get jobs, which includes being appropriately dressed for interviews.
The East Orange Family Success Center, another multi-year LPI distribution partner, needed winter coats and jackets as soon as possible, noted Friedman. “Livingston residents ensured that the request was fulfilled in a timely fashion with beautiful garments,” he said.

Friedman ended with a quote from  Ella Wheeler Wilcox, an author and poet: “With every deed you are sowing a seed, though the harvest you may not see.”
Photos:     Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. (LPI) founder Jeff Friedman said he was blessed to be with his family on Thanksgiving Day at Bessie Green Community Soup Kitchen in Newark. His wife, LPI vice president  Karen Friedman, niece Jaclyn Friedman-Lombardo and great-nephew, Will Lombardo, worked with other community volunteers and Bessie Green staff to serve a bountiful holiday dinner.  The family volunteers  also delivered toiletries and cosmetics gift bags created by Karen.
    It took multiple Livingston Philanthropies volunteers, who contribute both their time and their personal vehicles, to deliver a bounty of winter coats, family clothing and shoes to the “Ladies of the Boutique” at Willing Heart Community Care Center in Newark.  Standing with LPI founder Jeff Friedman are LPI volunteer Alan Wishengrad, Boutique Ladies Rosario Perez and Lisa Cherokee Raine Booker, and Emma Greenberg, home from college and helping her dad, LPI volunteer Stephen Greenberg, who is next to her.
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