PLAINFIELD, NJ — A fully operational Branchburg daycare center recently closed down, and all of its contents were left behind. Members of Jerusalem Lodge #26, located in Plainfield, joined together with Plainfield PBA #19 for a community service project to save the items.
A large truck was loaded up on Friday by the lodge brothers, and it was driven to Access Self Storage on South Avenue. The brothers were met by PBA President Detective Carlos Gonzales, and detectives Donicia Alston and Ivy Grimmer.
Jerusalem Lodge #26, brother David Labush said, does a lot of fundraising for charities that especially benefit children, including Muscular Dystrophy and Special Olympics, and members stuff backpacks for local students.
According to Eugene Grace, the head of the lodge, the brothers recently donated 100 take-out meals and 200 bottles of hand sanitizer to RWJ University Hospital Somerset. The lodge brothers purchased the meals from Plainfield's Family Restaurant and Buffet on Park Avenue.
"The workers at the hospital are working double shifts, and all the restaurants are closed, and they've been living on pizza for the past couple of weeks. We thought it would be a nice touch," according to Grace.
Grace said the Branchburg center went out of business and sold its property, leaving many useful items that would be useful at a daycare or community center. One of the lodge brothers asked the involved parties if he could take the contents, and they agreed. The Plainfield PBA will determine where the items will end up.
The Jerusalem Lodge was founded in 1817, in the Plainfield section of the city of Westfield in Essex County. Grace said at that point in time, "Plainfield didn't exist as a city, and Union County didn't exist as a county. Our lodge is older than both the city and the county."
Grace said the organization still has the original 1817 minutes, and funds were originally collected in pounds, shillings and pence.
To learn more about Jerusalem Lodge #26, visit the organization's website HERE.
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