Martin Luther King weekend was awesome at A Hand Up

Martin Luther King weekend was a VERY busy weekend!!  A Hand Up managed to stretch three days of pick-up and delivery activities over the MLK Holiday weekend into four days.  Beginning on Friday afternoon, Sam Paul and Tom Izard made two stops to pick up a 4 piece sectional sofa in East Hartford and an area rug in Wethersfield.

The next day, Mike Fishman led a small but determined group from Northwest Catholic to collect a house-worth of furniture and other household items from a donor in West Hartford.  They collected a high top table and 2 chairs, a recliner, a flat screen TV with stand, end tables, 2 dining room tables and 8 chairs, a bedroom set, 2 dressers, towels, linens, small kitchen appliances, and many boxes of dishware, glassware, flatware and pots & pans.  After they unloaded everything that was donated into the warehouse, the team pre-loaded the client list for Sunday’s delivery.

On Sunday, Sam and Nick Paul, Matt Schott and John Lawlor braved the pouring rain, fog and crappy driving conditions to make a pick-up and a delivery, all on the same street in Southington.   The donor had everything staged and ready to go when we arrived and we collected a full bed set, love seat, 2 end tables, a coffee table, a kitchen table and 4 chairs, two lamps and a set of linens for the bed.  Ten minutes later (we had some trouble finding the entrance to the apartment building), we were unloading everything we had picked up, plus a bookcase, pots and pans, dishware, glassware, silverware, a twin bed set, two lamps, linens, towels, pillows, a vacuum cleaner and other assorted household items that came from the warehouse.  We made it back in time for the start of the Patriots-Colts game.

 Above are a couple of students with the UConn Community Outreach group.

Monday was MLK’s birthday, which is traditionally a day of service for volunteer groups in the area.  We had groups from St. James’s Church (SJC), UConn and Area Health Education Center (AHEC) help us make two deliveries and a large pick-up, sort through and put away all of the items received from Saturday’s pick up, assemble additional shelving for the dish room and repair furniture.  Starting at 9:00am, Sue Kayeum led the SJC team of Ben & Martha Parish, Bob Hoffman, Liz Porter and Ted Newton on a delivery to Maria in Hartford.  They delivered a queen size bed frame, linens, blankets, sofa, armchair, dresser, coffee table, end table, bookcase, kitchen table and 2 chairs, TV cart, pots and pans, dishware, glassware, silverware, cookware, lamps, towels, pillows, coffee maker, toaster, microwave and other assorted items.  While the delivery was happening, UConn volunteers Ben, Maeve, Brandon, Paulina and Emily arrived at the warehouse and were initially put to work sorting through and organizing all of the boxes from Saturday’s pickup.  The team also assisted Ollie Bunch from SJC to put together a shelf unit that was needed for the large influx of pots and pans.  Once the delivery was completed the UConn team met the SJC delivery team at an apartment in West Hartford and proceeded to load the truck with a kitchen table, 8 chairs, a leather side chair, 3 end tables, 5 upholstered armchairs, a trunk, a desk, a microwave, a queen mattress, side tables, 5 lamps, a vacuum cleaner, a folding table, flatware, glassware, dishware and other miscellaneous household items.  Both groups arrived back at the warehouse and unloaded everything off of the truck.  They then staged the second delivery for the day.  A huge thanks to the teams from SJC and UConn!!  As the volunteers from the morning’s activities were leaving, the team of Nancy Tram, Teresa and Rachel from AHEC were arriving.  Together with Sam Paul, the team made a delivery to Mark in East Hartford.  The team dropped off a set of full size linens and blankets, a love seat, small dresser, coffee table, 2 end tables, a bookcase, pots & pans, dishware, glassware, silverware, a couple lamps, towels, a coffee maker, a toaster and a vacuum cleaner.  Mark was very happy to receive the items he had been waiting for since late October.  Thanks to the team from AHEC for making Mark’s day.  On the way back to the warehouse, Sam picked up a dresser and a three piece sectional from two stops in West Hartford.  For those of you counting at home, that was 5 pick-ups and 3 deliveries over 4 days.  Thanks to everyone for their great work over the weekend.