Two great Maplewood nonprofits have united for the greater good.
Green Recoverings is now part of HK Community Fund, and their first
project together was the coordination of the bulk donation of materials from a 130-room hotel in Hackensack, NJ, scheduled for demolition, to local homeless shelters and organizations in need.
On May 18, HK Community Fund and Green Recoverings helped local
families and shelters through the support of Sam Leviton, the owner of the Best Western Hotel in Hackensack and MLC Salvage Company President, Don Hayes. The hotel has ceased operations, and Leviton and Hayes set aside items to help local non-profits and families. HK Community Fund and Green Recoverings organized local youth volunteers to pick up, load and unload the materials.
The following organizations were recipients and collection agents for this effort:
- Family Connections: A network that supports individuals and families in overcoming obstacles and meeting life’s challenges, specifically addressing needs for homes and shelter
- Full Throttle: A mentoring group for young men who are actively participating in gang life or other at risk activities
- Nine Strong Women: A program specifically designed to offer shelter and guidance and services to young women who are actively involved in gangs or street culture
- Drop-in Center: Maplewood, NJ Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs has developed a brand new center for the local senior community of Maplewood.
Founded in 2009, HK Community Fund’s mission is to foster unity and belonging in the diverse Maplewood and South Orange community. The Fund functions as a "hub" of communications and resources, with both programming and charitable giving "spokes." Cultural events, educational programs, volunteer networks, and partnerships with locally run causes like Green Recoverings foster immediate or long term social responsibility among residents.
Green Recoverings matches gently used discards from hotels, such as bedding and furniture, with homeless shelters, charities and families in need. In addition, reusing these items has theadditional benefit of reducing the impact on landfills.
Mary Marzano—Maplewood born and raised—started Green Recoverings after her
sister’s house was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008. Mary began soliciting donations to help her sister get back on her feet when a friend who worked in the hotel business mentioned that hotels discard their linens fairly regularly in good condition. After literally sending tons of linens to Galveston, Texas Mary realized that the concept could be built upon to help those in need right here in her own backyard.
Mary Marzano and Green Recoverings have been featured in major news outlets, People magazine and they even appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
HK brings Green Recoverings into its HK C.A.R.E. program, which responds to families facing crises and emergencies. By supporting this local cause, The Fund seeks to foster social responsibility and offer opportunities for volunteers to help other members of the community.
Saif Tom Kerns; "It is important to have a wide range of causes and initiatives available and accessible to community members. My goal is that each person living in our community will see a role for themselves in something we are doing and take action—get involved—connect. That is where true sense of belonging happens.”
Marzano concurred: “Green Recoverings started out because I felt I needed to help my family, but as I became involved I felt a sense of responsibility and then developed a passion to continue helping other community members in need.”