February 2018 -- Shevat-Adar 5778,  Volume 24, Issue 2

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Architect Liam Winters, Furniture Sharehouse Executive Director, Kate Bialo, Kristin, Rachel and Matt Patrick introducing the Community Build Table Project at a STEM Alliance Event. Photo Credit: Jill Bock

Community Build Gives Hands-On Help

What happens when an engineering-minded middle school girl starts to plan for the community service portion of her Bat Mitzvah? In the case of Hommocks seventh grader Rachel Patrick, she talked to the STEM Alliance of Larchmont-Mamaroneck about ways to combine her interests in building and tinkering with the needs of others. This lead Rachel to assisting with a new pilot project, Community Build - a STEM Alliance program in partnership with Furniture Sharehouse.

 

The goal of the project is to use engineering skills and community “making” experiences to engage community members in building quality, low cost furniture for Furniture Sharehouse to distribute.

 

Executive Director, Kate Bialo, explained, “One of our greatest needs is tables. We need more of them but they also take up a lot of space.”

 

Local architect Liam Winters lent a hand working through several prototypes to design an affordable, aesthetically pleasing table that could also be stowed away as needed.

 

With the design finished, Rachel is now ready to host the area’s first ever “Community Build” experience at the STEM Alliance’s STEM-tastic Festival on Friday March 16, 2018 from 6pm to 9pm at Hommocks Middle School in Larchmont.

 

Reflecting on the project, Rachel said, “I am so happy that I can use my engineering and building skills to help Furniture Sharehouse provide families with the things they need to set up their new home. It’s easy to forget how much something as simple as a dining table can mean to a family who doesn’t have anything. These tables will make a difference in their lives every day and I am grateful that I can help provide them.”

 

Now Rachel is looking for the community to get involved. To learn more about this initiative and the extreme need for support for the Furniture Sharehouse clients, to sign up to assist with table assembly at STEM-tastic on March 16th, or to donate the funds for a table, contact Rachel at tablemitzvahproject@gmail.com.