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Vol. 31, No. 15 MEDICAL UNIVERSITY of SOUTH CAROLINA November 23, 2012 Furniture bank allows employees to give back By Gerry Le Public Relations Furniture bank drive Giving thanks is just one step away from giving back, which is what two MUSC employees are proud to be doing. Lowcountry Furniture Bank, a nonprofit organization which collects slightly used furniture and distributes to families in need, was started in June 2011 by Steve Paterniti, information system analyst for MUSC’s Business Development and Marketing Services Department. “This is our way to support the community,” said Paterniti. “Our vision is to involve community partners such as school groups, civic groups and church groups that are wanting to help give back too.” Paterniti said he was inspired to create the organization because of a home makeover show on HGTV. “They were making over a home in Atlanta, and they showed the Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta. I started thinking it was a good way to give back to the community,” he said. “Think about that extra bed or dresser you have lying around. There’s no sense in it collecting dust. Instead, give it to people who really need it.” Susan Lucas, MUSC referral call center supervisor and board member for Lowcountry Furniture Bank, is also giving back through the program. “[Paterniti] has just contagious enthusiasm for this. He’s so passionate about this organization and helping 3 The furniture bank will hold a drive from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 1 in the QQ parking lot, across from 135 Cannon St., on the MUSC campus. Visit http://www. for a list of items that are needed. people. I just had to help,” said Lucas. “He is usually such a quiet guy. But when he talks about the organization, he’s just so excited. He puts so much time into it, and I just think it’s great.” Time isn’t all that Paterniti puts into his organization. Originally Lowcountry Furniture Bank wasn’t accepting any cash donations, just furniture. “We wanted the organization to be finalized through the IRS as an official 501(c)(3) before we took any donations,” he said. On Oct. 19, the Lowcountry Furniture Bank received its IRS approval letter. Cash contributions will now go toward operating expenses and plans for a permanent warehouse, which is becoming more and more important. “[Paterniti] uses his own truck to move things,” Lucas said. “He and his wife use money from their own pocket, so I help by giving them my garage to use as extra storage for now. They give so much. I figure it’s no problem. I can park in the driveway.” As of Oct. 19, the bank had collected Quality of care South Carolina doctors take part in ratings when it comes to patient care. See Furniture on page 9 9 Business Development & Marketing Services’ Steve Paterniti, right, helps load a table in the bed of his truck for the Lowcountry Furniture Bank. Paterniti collects furniture for families in need. Visit http://www. for a list of items that are needed. For information, email Workplace Decorations 2 Caring Spirit Award There are specific guidelines for making the hospital festive. 4 HCC mourns loss of surgeon 5 Meet Susan READ THE CATALYST ONLINE -

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