Isaiah House holds online fundraising auction

EAST ORANGE, NJ — Isaiah House, a 100-bed transitional shelter in East Orange, is hosting an online auction from noon on Tuesday, Oct. 13, to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17. The auction features more than 60 items, services and experiences donated by individuals and businesses throughout the surrounding community. It is the first auction in the organization’s history to assist with fundraising, amid new challenges that have emerged in the wake of COVID-19.

Notable items up for auction include a long-weekend getaway to Cape Cod, Mass.; a print by globally renowned local artist Bisa Butler; jewelry from artisans such as Pamela Bloom; a private “face-off” tutorial with lacrosse great Trevor Baptiste; a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey signed by Jagomir Jagr; and packages and gift cards from local vendors such as the Inspired Garden, Meus, Kimaya Kama and modstudio. Volunteer opportunities included in the online event also include Isaiah House movie night sponsorship, “Adopt a Room,” “Adopt a Family” and more.

All funds raised from the auction will be invested in efforts to address the economic fallout on those hit hardest during the pandemic and will be 100-percent tax-deductible.

“Because we are not able to hold in-person fundraising events due to the pandemic, this auction is a lifeline,” Isaiah House Executive Director Zammeah Bivins-Gibson said. “It will provide us with much-needed monies to help feed and house those most in need — whose numbers have only increased as a result of the current public-health situation.”

In addition to the auctioned items, several virtual events have been planned throughout the week, giving participants the opportunity to socialize and celebrate at home while they shop. On Thursday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m., Tara Roscioli, the author of “Clean Cocktails” and the personality behind the wellness company, Highway2Well, will host a virtual mixology class and cocktail party. Cocktail kits for the class can be purchased in advance on the Isaiah House website.

On Friday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m., West Orange-based, highly acclaimed jazz duo, Stacey and Alan Schulman, will perform a virtual concert. And, on Saturday, Oct. 17, a virtual family game night will be run by Adam Baranker, the assistant director of Jeff Lake Camp. Details for all events can be found on the Isaiah House Facebook page and on the auction information page.

“The response we’ve had from our community is proof of the profound generosity that lives in SOMA and Essex County — and beyond,” said Kristen Beveridge, Isaiah House board member and auction chairperson. “But it is also proof of the incredible range of talent here.”

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Isaiah House remained open and continued to provide services and accept families into its shelter. The organization increased food pantry rations and removed a proof-of-identification requirement so that families could obtain essential goods. The organization was also selected as one of only three agencies in East Orange to coordinate and manage rental assistance funds awarded by the city of East Orange.

“Additionally, we offer weekly COVID testing at our facility to all our staff and residents, as well as anyone from the community,” Bivins-Gibson said. “We don’t require medical insurance, which is a tremendous help to our undocumented community and others who are uninsured.”

The auction will be “live” on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at noon and can be accessed at To learn more, visit