(Albany, NY) State Senator George Latimer has selected Larchmont resident Kate Bialo, Executive Director of Furniture Sharehouse as a 2013 NYS Senate Woman of Distinction. Furniture Sharehouse provides free furniture to economically disadvantaged individuals and families living in Westchester County, giving them the basic household furnishings that enable them to rebuild their lives and live with dignity.
Furniture Sharehouse was founded through the efforts of Kate Bialo and The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound (JLWOS). Through her work as Past President and Community Grants Coordinator for JLWOS, Kate learned of the social service community’s frustration at having furniture that their clients desperately needed slip through their fingers because no one had space to store it temporarily. So she conceived the idea of setting up a “shared warehouse” where donations could be collected and redistributed to agency clients as needed.
Furniture Sharehouse was incorporated in 2006, and, with seed money from JLWOS and a matching HUD grant from Westchester County, warehouse space was secured at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains and operations commenced in April 2007.
In accepting the award, Kate Bialo said, 'I am honored to have been nominated by Senator Latimer as a NYS Woman of Distinction, and very pleased to have the opportunity to highlight Furniture Sharehouse, Westchester's Furniture Bank, and its mission of providing free furniture to families in need. We are the only furniture bank in New York, and since opening in 2007, we have distributed over 32,000 items of free furniture to more than 6,200 individuals, giving them a bed to sleep on and a table to share a family meal, and other basic furniture to help them create a comfortable and stable home and rebuild their lives. Senator Latimer has been a friend of Furniture Sharehouse since the beginning and we appreciate his continued support and this recognition.'
Latimer praised Bialo's work, 'Lots of people come up with good ideas but the ones that have the drive and perseverance to turn those ideas into reality are the truly distinct members of our community and Kate certainly fits that description. I find it fitting that we are honoring her right around Mother's Day when we salute many of our mothers for providing their families with better lives. Kate and the team of volunteers at Furniture Sharehouse have done the same thing for thousands families throughout Westchester.'
Bialo was honored in Albany on May 7th with women from the 62 other Senate districts. During her day in Albany, she was a guest on Senator Latimer's Public Access TV program, which can be viewed by Larchmont Residents Tuesday and Thursdays at 6 PM on Channel 77 for Cablevision subscribers and 34 for Verizon subscribers.
The Women of Distinction Event is sponsored by the NYS Senate and showcases outstanding women living and working in New York State whose contributions have greatly enriched the quality of life in their communities and beyond.