TENAFLY, N.J. — Cynthia Massarsky of Tenafly had spent decades working at the intersection of private companies and public organizations.
She wanted something new — so she opened "Making-It-Home."
"I wanted to do something that was in my skill set and knowledge base and that had to do with interior design," Massarsky said.
The nonprofit uses unwanted furniture left behind on moving trucks, in storage boxes or during junk clean-outs and repurposes it for low-income housing residents.
Some clients are veterans who can barely afford housing and have very little money to furnish or decorate their homes.
Making-It-Home coordinates with the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services and local police departments to deliver furniture to homes.
Most recently, the Lyndhurst Police Department helped move in a veteran named Steven. The experience stuck with the officers.
"[Steven] was literally beaming," Lyndhurst Police Chief James O'Connor said.
"My guys were overwhelmed with emotion just to see how grateful Steven was for something a lot of people take for granted."
Occasionally, Veterans Services will find residents who require furniture. Much of the legwork, though, is done by Making-It-Home and volunteers.
"When we get the name and number," Massarsky said, "we check out not only what’s needed but take measurements and find out what they’re interested in."
Making-It-Home services many towns in the county, including Bergenfield, Garfield, Fairview, Hackensack, Cliffside Park and Lyndhurst.
"It’s a good example of what the community can do when everyone is on the same page and wants to accomplish the same goal," said A.J. Luna, director of Bergen County Veterans Services.
The organization recently hosted a breakfast to honor the volunteers of and contributors to Making-It-Home.
Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse commended the Norwood-based Westy Storage Center for its contributions to Making-It-Home.
The nonprofit welcomes furniture donations and volunteers. Interested parties should write to firstname.lastname@example.org.