January 17, 2013 at 7:01 AM
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - With true New Jersey strength and pride, residents and businesses owners in the New Providence area are joining forces and sending furniture to those at the Shore who lost all or nearly everything in Hurricane Sandy. “Refurnish the Shore” is the result of the combined efforts of Roxanne Giacalone of Keller Williams Realty, Carla Poppolino, a design associate from Creative Wallcoverings & Interiors, and Sherry of Joel and Sherry’s Paintin Place in Belmar.
Sherry posted on her Facebook page that Paintin Place was doing a “paint out,” repainting donated furniture that would then be distributed to those in need in Brick and Belmar. When Giacalone saw it, she knew she wanted to get involved. She contacted her lifelong friend, Poppolino, and asked if Creative Wallcoverings & Interiors would like to be a part of it, and Poppolino took it to her bosses, Rachel and Gary Kapner.
By this point, the project began to take on a life of its own. The owner of the building CWI is in let them use an empty storage space to collect the furniture that people were donating. Jeff Harrington of Harrington Movers in Basking Ridge offered to let them use a truck to take the furniture to Paintin Place. Accent Printing Solutions of New Providence printed flyers. Meanwhile, down in Belmar, the owner of the empty building across the street from Paintin Place offered it to Sherry to store the furniture once it’s been painted.
“Everybody is coming together for this,” Giacalone said. “It’s just amazing. The response we are getting from people just reinforces over and over again that we’re doing the right thing. Every time we mentioned it to someone else, they’d want to get involved.”
Gary Kapner, who also is a New Providence Borough councilman, said he had the same experience.
“People would come up to me at other events and ask me how they could get involved,” he said. “Everyone has really gotten behind this, but it’s not too surprising. New Providence is a town that steps up to the plate when it comes to helping our neighbors.”
Poppolino pointed out that the project also keeps perfectly good furniture from going into a landfill, and helps those who lost so much in the hurricane begin to rebuild their lives. Many insurance companies don’t pay for the contents of homes damaged in floods or other natural disasters, and as Giacalone pointed out, sometimes all it takes is a dresser to help someone who has been living out of a suitcase feel a returning sense of normalcy.
Drop-off days for those who would like to donate gently used furniture are Saturday, Jan. 26 and Saturday, Feb. 2., between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Creative Wallcoverings & Interiors, 560 Central Avenue in New Providence.