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In January 2012 NAPO-NY members participated in a variety of pro-bono events to share their expertise and the benefits of getting organized with their local communities. Sharon Lowenheim, President of NAPO-NY says, “One of the joys of being a Professional Organizer is the profound difference we make in people’s lives. Our GO Month  activities enable us to deliver those benefits to those who would not otherwise be able to afford them.

NAPO-NY President Sharon Lowenheim, Maia Dart, Jaclyn Gross, and Petra Tabry organized a recreation room for Liberty LEADS at the Bank Street College of Education. Liberty LEADS provides 260 children and families with a comprehensive after-school program centered on their social and emotional needs. Services are offered to families, middle school, and high school students in grades 5-12 for 11 months each year. The recreation room is used for arts and crafts, games, food preparation, homework help, and storage of equipment for the program. The team reorganized and labeled each shelf in every cabinet, locating like items together, and weeding out items no longer in use.

The Catskill Mountain region was hit by Hurricane Irene last September, ravaging many small communities. As a First Responder, Reverend Karen Monk was called into action to deliver medicine to those stranded, check on the housebound, assist in the cleanup and recovery, and minister to those traumatized by the loss of their homes and possessions. NAPO-NY member Ann Bingley Gallops teamed up with NAPO member, Sarah Stitham to reorganize and redesign Reverend Monk’s office, transforming it into a serene, multi-functional space which serves as church office, meeting room and workplace where she counsels parishioners. While Sarah worked with Karen hands-on in the office, Ann worked long distance, looking at photos and a floor plan to recommend a new layout based on Feng Shui principles. Their goal was to create a serene, welcoming space so Karen could take charge of her life and the business of the church with greater ease.

NAPO-NY chapter member Sheila Delson, CPO-CD® focused on her third shoe drive for Soles4Souls, which  provides gently worn and brand new shoes for men, women and children in need in over 127 countries.

Long Island Cares welcomed the Professional Organizers of Long Island (POLI) to help get them better organized. Founded in 1980 by late singer/advocate Harry Chapin, LI Cares is Long Island’s first food bank and one of the NY region’s most comprehensive hunger action organizations, providing food and support for more than 540 community-based member agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, child care programs, disability organizations, veterans’ services, and more. The “School Tools” program makes new school
supplies available to children in need.

POLI volunteers overhauled the 27,000 square foot warehouse facility system for purchased and donated food. On day one, organizers Nancy Borg, Cynthia Braun, Maxine Dangler, Alix Lieberman Jackie Mastropolo and Alice Price assisted Peter Braglia, LI Cares’ Director of Facilities and Procurement and Jim Lowman, Warehouse Manager, in the reorganization of the food warehouse, labeling all shelves and aisles, and installing a first in, first out FIFO system.  Day two saw Nancy, Cynthia and Maxine joined by Carla Mazzuchelli, Diana Soll and Wanda Struhl, who sorted boxes of donations and redesigned the “School Tools” room. The goal for the “School Tools” room was to transform it into a welcoming place where visitors could ‘shop’ for school supplies. With the new inventory system, the warehouse and school supply store provide efficient storage where every item can be easily located.

POLI members Jayne Schoenbrun, Carla Mazzuchilli and Regina Kempster worked with the Greenvale Bakers Boys and Girls Club in Locust Valley, NY. The clubs provide after-school programs for children of working parents, and a place for teens to socialize. Greenvale Bakers helps the community with food donations as well as clothing, and had three storage closets filled from floor to ceiling. The challenge was to empty all closets which housed gym equipment as well as summer program themes, holiday decorations and teachers’ filing cabinets. They sorted and gathered items from different parts of the building, creating a specific purpose for each closet. It was a rewarding day, helping communities be better organized as they help others.