Woman helps through community kindness closet
ROCKAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Every day, a New Jersey woman travels to Newark to help people experiencing homelessness, but Tuesday, she took it a step further.
She offered for them to spend a day out of the cold and take them to a place they could feel the warmth from the community.
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When Henry Veal woke up Tuesday morning in Newark’s Penn Station, he had no idea his day would take him to Rockaway.
He overheard a conversation; Jenny DePaul was inviting people on a trip while doing outreach.
“I said, ‘Would you mind if I go?’ She said, ‘Of course not, I would love to have you with us,’” Veal told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
DePaul personally drove Veal and a few others from Newark to the Kindness Closet in Rockaway, started through her nonprofit Project Kind.
At the closet, they could choose whatever they needed most.
It’s a community hub where “all the love comes.” People share what they have and can take what they need, no questions asked.
“I was able to pick up a pair of lounge pants,” Veal said. “I even got a, found an Armani Exchange belt.”
“I found me a nice, two leather jackets, and I love leather,” one Newark resident said.
“That leather jacket that somebody gave us had that impact on him, so sometimes I think we don’t think we have enough to give, like it’s not going to matter, but it does,” DePaul said.
The Kindness Closet is also a place where the organization has shelves of non-perishable items and two fridges that store hundreds of sandwiches volunteers make for people in need.
The group was fed fresh pizza, but they didn’t only receive.
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“Every time I help somebody, they want to know how, what can they do for me? How can they help me?” DePaul said.
She gave them the opportunity to put the finishing touches on another massive community effort.
Over the weekend, the community donated more than 40 palettes’ worth of toiletries, food and clothes to Project Kind to help those struggling in Texas.
The nonprofit’s landlord, the owner of Boro Plaza, helped too.
“I started reaching out to some of my friends to kind of spread the word and here we are,” landlord Martin Ginsberg said.
Tuesday, his staff and the men from Newark helped load a truck donated by Uber Freight.
It will be driven to Houston on Tuesday night.
“The world would be a better place if we shared with them a piece of our heart instead of a piece of mind,” Veal said.
“It takes away the pain,” one man said.
“She blesses us from time to time,” another man said.
“The greatest thing about, I think, this for me is every single day I get to witness multiple acts of kindness,” DePaul said.
It’s a journey she’s sharing through a new book, but there are some stories that are so beautiful, there are no words.
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DePaul is flying to Texas on Friday to help distribute the items, but the Kindness Closet is always in need of clothes, food and monetary donations. For more information on how to help, visit projectkind123.org/how-to-help.