Tuesday, March 20, 2018


I am writing this blog as Debbie Emery, daughter of the recently deceased, 91 year old, Louis Francis. My dad, a man with a large personality and larger heart, passed away on February 12th, widowed just three years earlier. I am also Debbie Emery, Director of Community and Youth Engagement for the Bergen Volunteer Center. You may wonder what one has to do with the other?
Tasked with both honoring and packing up a long and wonderful life, my sister and I had to figure out what to do with all the “things” collected these past 91 years. We knew exactly where to put the years and decades of love and memories. But the “things” all the “things”! There was clothing, paperwork, personal items, treasures and furniture. The one thing we learned from our dad was that there is probably someone or someplace that can benefit from those “things” and try to help someone first before simply getting rid of it all.

Because of my work with the Bergen Volunteer Center, I am aware of community programs that help. And the programs I was able to work closely with were literally under my nose, right here at the Volunteer Center. Mentoring Moms and Mentoring Youth were on my radar and the director was able to identify a young, loving family within the program that needed furniture. Making-It-Home made it possible to consider donating furniture to individuals and families that need it. So when my two worlds collided and knowing in my heart what my dad would have done, that choice was easy. First locate a family that could use the items, and work with the dynamos, Cynthia and Chris of Making-It-Home, to put all the pieces in place. 

So, we found the perfect Mentoring family and Making-It- Home took over. First Class Movers volunteered their truck, their muscle and mostly their hearts to pick up 91 years’ worth of a great life and share a bit of that legacy with a young, loving family in need of just a bit of support and furniture!

The family was overcome with joy and gratitude not only upon being a benefactor of my father’s legacy but also with the interior decorating tips provided by Cynthia.

For more information about Making- It -Home, Mentoring Moms and Mentoring Youth, please contact the Bergen Volunteer Center, www.bergenvolunteers.org, or 201-489-9454.

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