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Since 2018, LSC has been working with United Neighbors of Fall River (UNFR) to develop and launch The Home Project, a free store of household items for families transitioning out of homelessness and into shelter, victims of natural disasters, and others in need. UNFR’s Executive Director, Wendy Garf-Lipp pitched her idea to the Class of 2018 with a vision of creating an opportunity for unwanted goods to be re-purposed for the benefit of others. Wendy’s passion and innovative idea captured the interest of class members and the project was selected to be on our roster of Community Action Projects for that year.

Since that time, LSC has continued to embrace The Home Project as one of its annual Community Action Projects. For the last three years, class members have worked together to contribute and leverage resources to support the development of The Home Project. A significant gain was made in 2019, when class members helped to connect Merrow Manufacturing CEO, Charlie Merrow, with UNFR’s Wendy Garf-Lipp. The Hope Project needed a location and Merrow had space available in his facility in Fall River. The connection evolved into a fruitful partnership and now The Home Project happily calls Merrow Manufacturing home.

With a new home secured, the 2020 team has been focused on efforts to get The Home Project store up and running. Last week, the team organized a household item drive to fill the store with goods. The event was a huge success with thousands of items donated. The Home Project is now a fully stocked store, and UNFR will be scheduling shopping times for families in need over the coming weeks. According to Wendy, “United Neighbors is filled with gratitude for the support and vision of Charlie and Evan Merrow and Merrow Manufacturing and to our Leadership SouthCoast teams. Where there was nothing, there now is a thriving store which will soon be ready to support vulnerable families in our community.”

Team “Re-Store Hope” and volunteers at The Home Project
at Merrow Manufacturing

Team “Re-Store Hope” will continue to assist with the project in the coming months as the 2020 program wraps up. A key focus will be helping UNFR with their Dress for Success Program, which will collect business attire for individuals in need of professional clothing for job interviews and other opportunities. You can learn more about Team “Re-Store Hope” and all of our project teams at our upcoming team project presentations, which will be held via Zoom on October 14 at 9:00 a.m. Save the date!

The Home Project is just one of many inspiring stories of impact resulting in large part because of the resources and direct assistance LSC class members bring to the community each year through LSC’s Community Action Projects. We’re proud to have supported this valuable project in our community and the excellent work of UNFR! #EngageEducateEmpower #LSC2020 

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