During the Civil Rights Movement, activists flocked to church basements around the country, using them as hubs for organizing and striving for equality in the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Forty-three years after Dr. King’s assassination, nearly 200 locals gathered again Wednesday night in a church basement, the Larchmont Avenue Church basement, to continue to further Dr. King’s dream – and honor one of our own, Kate Bialo, who is helping do that here at home as Founder and Executive Director of The Furniture Sharehouse.
“Kate shares Dr. King’s vision of a world where we all interact with respect for each other, “ said the Rev. Richard Allen, a member of the Tri-Municipal Human Rights Committee of Larchmont & Mamaroneck, in presenting Bialo with the organization’s 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award.
“Compassion walks with concern,” he said.
In creating The Furniture Sharehouse, Bialo has helped turn the houses of 1,150 of low-income Westchester families into homes by making sure they have furniture at virtually no cost.
Located in a warehouse at Westchester County Airport, Furniture Sharehouse has collected and distributed about 15,000 items since its creation in the aftermath of the 2007 flood.
Following a string of academic and artistic presentations evoking the spirit, mood and, most importantly, impact of Dr. King, Bialo used the occasion to thank volunteers, local agencies and furniture donors who through The Furniture Sharehouse are helping individuals gain footing in our community piece by piece.
“Without furniture, a house is not a home,” she said.