On Saturday, an all-day drive at the resulted in a moving truck filled to the brim with donated furniture. It benefited , a local nonprofit that provides furniture to those in need in Westchester County.
“Every donated piece goes right back into the community,” said Dave Vipullo of Port Chester, who has been working at the organization since its inception in 2007.
“We have a full warehouse one week and an empty warehouse the next week, so there is enormous need for this. [Right now,] we serve about 12 families a week,” he said.
Founder Kate Bialo of Larchmont thought up the idea in 2004, and secured funding from the as well as from a Westchester County HUD grant.
“We opened our doors in April 2007, right after the flooding,” she said, adding that at the time, a temporary satellite operation at Harbor Island was made available for those affected by the flood.
This was the second annual at Mamaroneck High School, but the organization accepts pieces all year round. Those who receive furniture are normally referred to the organization through social service agencies, she said.
Fraioli and Quigley Moving, a moving company with offices in New Rochelle and Harrison, donated their truck, time and muscles.
“People have been coming pretty steadily since 8:45 a.m.,” said co-owner Jack Quigley, Jr.
Rye City Manager was recently hit by a car, destroying much of his furniture in a room. What items were intact, he brought here.
“We are replacing all the material in this room. I didn't want to throw the good stuff out, so I thought that we could donate them. It was a tragedy for the house, but no one was hurt or killed in the accident, so that was good,” he said.
Kate Bialo's son, Matt, heads the Mamaroneck High School (MHS) club, and organizes publicity and staffing for the drive.
"During the fall we focus on joining the club, and then we ramp it up again closer to this event,” he said.
Furniture comes in all shapes and sizes, like a purple velvet couch that was donated early in the morning. “It looked like the piece that Caesar was being fed grapes on. That was my favorite piece so far today,” Matt said.
This was Megan Ettenger's first year at the drive as a volunteer but not her first time volunteering. She has consistently donated time at since 8th grade. A resident of Larchmont and student at MHS, she joined the Furniture Sharehouse Club because she believed in the cause.
“We put up fliers, sent out emails and Facebook updates. Today we are accepting gently used furniture and are giving donors a form for tax deduction.”
“I know there are people who need furniture and we have extra,” said Steve Robling of Larchmont, who made two trips from his home with furniture. “It is a great opportunity to really help other people out.”