IRVINGTON, NJ — Local businessman Destin Nicholas partnered with the newly founded nonprofit Sisters Helping Sister for a Better Life to host a pre-Thanksgiving Community Food Giveaway outside his business on Stuyvesant Avenue, on the border between Irvington and Union Township.
“We are here to help the community and the people in Haiti as well,” Monique Cus-Pierre said Sunday, Nov. 20. “We’re giving some food out — vegetables, juice; you name it, we get it. We’re doing this in time for Thanksgiving to help the people get ready. We also have a few turkeys to give away as well.”
Jean Hypolite was one of the recipients of the largesse and outpouring of holiday spirit. He said he wasn’t surprised by it.
“He’s a good guy and Irvington’s one of the best places in New Jersey,” said Hypolite of Nicholas on Saturday, Nov. 19. “What’s they’re doing is good and this is a good scene. I thank God that they give everybody something today to make them happy for Thanksgiving.”
Nicholas said he was glad to hear that, but said serving the Irvington community is nothing new to him.
“It’s what I do and I’ve been doing this for years,” Nicholas said Saturday, Nov. 19. “I’m an Irvingtonian and it’s a pleasure for me to give back to the community. Most of the people out there today are people who supported me and I feel like today is a day for me to give back to them. It’s Thanksgiving weekend and we wanted to do this in time for the holiday.”
Helping others in need is the reason why Nicholas said he teamed up with Cus-Pierre and Sisters Helping Sisters. There are a lot of unfortunate people in Irvington and the surrounding communities unfortunately, Nicholas said, and doing something for them is important.
“I was fortunate to come here at a very young age,” Nicholas said. “I learned the system; I went to school; I paid my dues; so I’m giving back now to those less fortunate. That’s what it’s all about — helping out the less fortunate.”
Cus-Pierre said they were there to “help the community.”
“We are here to give them free food and everything else,” she said.
Skaina Pierre, 16, a Hillside High School student, was out on Stuyvesant Avenue with Nicholas and Cus-Pierre, serving needy people before Thanksgiving. Her father, Fedelin Pierre, is one of the volunteer leaders for the charity, so giving back is all in the family for the Pierres.
“I feel like this is important, because we are fortunate to have things that others don’t have and it’s our responsibility to give out things that people don’t have,” Skaina Pierre said Saturday, Nov. 19. “Our mission statement is to help out others and to give them things that they didn’t have. I enjoy being out here and helping people. It’s something I’m passionate about and I feel like it’s good karma.”
Next up, Cus-Pierre said, is for Sisters Helping Sisters to mount a relief drive for their Haitian homeland, which was devastated by Hurricane Matthew. She is accepting donations for the effort at Donations at her day care center, located at 1037 Springfield Ave.
“We are here to support them,” said Cus-Pierre. “These are our people. Since we are Haitian, this is our job to help them. They are really in need. Some of them don’t have a place to live right now. They have no water, nothing. Our job is to collect whatever we can to help the people of Haiti, We need good things, not just the things that people don’t want. Our people need a lot of help with money, clothes or whatever you can give.”