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Mamaroneck High School Clubs Hold Furniture Drive

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Most of Mamaroneck has recovered and moved on from Hurricane Irene, but for 20 families who haven't, Eli Russ and Andrew DiMicelli's respective Mamaroneck High School clubs will offer their assistance by holding a small furniture drive Saturday.

Russ, president of the American Red Cross Club, approached DiMicelli, president of the Furniture Sharehouse Club, with the idea for a small furniture drive and bake sale, which will be held in the high school parking lot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

With the help of Leslie Garwood, whose son Evan formed the club in 2010, and Kate Bialo, executive director of Furniture Sharehouse, they got the ball rolling.

"Eli contacted me and Leslie offering his club members to help with the drive to help with the local hurricane relief," DiMicelli said. "I think we're one of the few clubs that holds events or fundraises for a local need, for local Mamaroneck families. I think that's pretty important to help around your community."

The Furniture Sharehouse, based in White Plains, opened a Mamaroneck branch for collection and distribution of furniture after the 2007 nor'easter devastated the Sound Shore community.

"I knew that they had disaster relief experience and I figured they would also be involved in helping people out after Huricane Irene," said Russ, a junior. "They answered me and we set this up."

The Furniture Sharehouse Club holds a much larger furniture drive each spring, where they collect larger pieces of furniture.

"This one is just for small house hold appliances," DiMicelli said. "We'll also have a bake sale to buy mattresses, which is one of their most needed items.

Suitable items include: lamps, clean rugs (4'x6' or smaller), toaster ovens, microwaves, coffee makers and small end tables.

The Hispanic Resource Center identified the 20 families still in need after the Furniture Sharehouse mentioned the drive at a meeting of the Mamaroneck Flood Relief Coalition , of which both are members.

"Families that have been identified as families that lost items in the flood are going to be given vouchers and can pick out what they need," Bialo said.

The Hispanic Resource Center has already bought 35 mattresses using a grant, but the bake sale will raise more money for the much needed item, which Bialo said is very expensive for a family of four or five .

"We're really hoping that plenty of people will come out and share their support in a great and meaningful way that can really help their neighbors," said Russ, who volunteered at the Emergency Shelter stationed in the high school's Post Road gym in the days following Hurricane Irene.

Large items will not be accepted, but can be donated directly at the Furniture Sharehouse warehouse or at one of their many furniture drives. Proceeds from the bake sale will be used to buy urgently needed mattresses. People can visit www.furnituresharehouse.org for regular donation guidelines, especially if they have mattresses or bed parts to donate. Don't forget to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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