Speaking for the Voiceless: LPI: Helping the Disenfranchised

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By Jeff Friedman
Editor’s Note: This week, in his own words, Jeff Friedman, founder and director of Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. (LPI), reflects on the concept of disenfranchisement and how residents can assist LPI in helping the disenfranchised.
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Vocabulary.com offers the following to describe disenfranchisement; “Being disenfranchised is no fun. The rules work against you, your rights are constantly violated, and you have little power to change your life for the better. The Old French word enfranchir means ‘to make free,’ and when you add the negative prefix dis-, disenfranchised means ‘made unfree.’ A disenfranchised population doesn’t rest easy.”
As the leader of Livingston’s local non-profit charity, Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. (LPI), I’m writing to request funding for severely disenfranchised communities just miles away from Livingston. The homeless and profoundly poor are clearly disenfranchised and in dire need of food, toiletries, diapers, men’s clothing and coats. As America’s hard workers lose their jobs weekly, food insecurity continues to spiral. Families need to be provided for, yet financial resources to do so are scarce. The conditions are far from good or even marginal. This growing population needs Livingston’s continued and increased support now.
Here are several ways in which Livingston residents can help become part of the solution. For full disclosure, actually, that statement is not exactly correct. There is no immediate solution, rather a methodology to put an immediate dent into this intractable societal dilemma.
Mail a generous contribution to LPI, P.O. Box 247, Livingston, NJ 07039 or handle it directly at paypal.me/lpinj. Rest assured that tax-free donations will be put to work quickly and efficiently to purchase and ship food, diapers, pantry needs, new toiletries, new men’s clothing and new men’s coats. LPI volunteers will do the shopping for you.
Purchase diapers in all sizes online or in-person. It’s easy, efficient, and satisfies an immediate, real and serious need. Please send me an email at njhomeless@aol.com for my Livingston shipping address or to arrange immediate pick-up or drop-off at my home. Diapers are hugely needed right away.
Purchase men’s large or extra-large clothing of any type, including socks, underwear, shirts and warm coats online or in-person. Why not take advantage of current sale prices to provide for those living below the poverty line who can’t provide these basic items for themselves? Once again, please email me at LPI to arrange shipping, pick-up or delivery options.
I’m sending a big shout-out to Livingston’s civic organizations, corporations and our religious community to consider support of Livingston Philanthropies. As LPI commences its tenth season of giving, many in town have known about us and our philanthropic endeavors for years. We are a solid, proven and effective 501(c)(3) whose outreach is worth supporting, particularly locally.
As St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received – only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”

Photo: Livingston Philanthropies, Inc. (LPI) director Jeff Friedman recently received a note from Newark Emergency Services for Families (NESF) executive director, Amina Bey, a trusted LPI distribution partner, advising that diapers are needed badly for homeless and seriously poor families. Knowing that NESF had a major community distribution event the next day, LPI volunteers visited their friends at Livingston ShopRite to purchase 12 cases of diapers in all sizes for delivery downtown in time for the big event. ShopRite cashier Hylisha provided friendly and efficient service. LPI is currently requesting funding to buy more diapers for disenfranchised infants and babies, or asking Livingston residents to purchase them online or in-person. Donations can be dropped at Friedman’s home, or for private, convenient pick-up, Friedman can be emailed at njhomeless@aol.com to make arrangements.

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