Members Unite to Help Families in Need
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Volunteer carpenters recently helped the United Way with a major project in Framingham, MA, that will help struggling families in the surrounding community. The volunteers were an integral part of transforming the former Framingham RMV Building into the new United Way Cupboard and Café. The facility is capable of serving more than 1,000 customers a month.

Representatives from the United Way reached out to Carpenters Local 475 to help them renovate a 4,000 square foot space located at 10 Pearl Street in Framingham. Understanding all too well the growing need of families in their community, the carpenter volunteers were eager to help.

The remodel included 4,000 square feet of new ceiling grid and three styles of ceilings. Carpenters built new walls and door openings and installed 200 sheets of drywall and wood blocking. Work also included doors and hardware, including two exterior doors. An emergency exit door was cut out through block wall.

Local 475 member William Christopherson stepped up in a big way volunteering not only labor, but helping to coordinate various efforts throughout the project. He was at the facility nearly very day helping with the estimating of material, installation of the metal framing and drywall, ordering the doors and frames and directing the other volunteers.

Ted Seaholes, Local 475, also volunteered a significant amount of time at the project, at the site nearly every day. One particular aspect of the project he headed up was making new counters for the facility. Tom Quinlan, Floorcoverers Local 2168, helped coordinate the donation of 4,000 square feet of carpet squares, which were then installed by Local union members.

The Carpenters Union members as well as laborers from Local 609, who handled the demolition, combined for an estimated 3,000 volunteer hours on the project.

Although the United Way supports various food pantries across the region, this will be the first one it directly operates. This Cupboard and Café provides both a community-wide food pantry and a congregate meals program.

The United Way is committed to making people feel as comfortable as possible, recognizing that many families may find themselves using these services that they never imagined they would need. The facility offers a restaurant-like atmosphere for the hot meals dining area and there is a section of the food pantry that allows people to shop for their own produce, as they would in a grocery store.

The facility will provide additional services to the community. Cooking classes will be offered on site, showing shoppers how to make healthy meals out of their groceries. Clothing and books or children and offer other services such as courses on budget management, assistance with social services and parenting support.

The United Way was grateful for the help of all the volunteers that made the project possible and held a Grand Opening/Open House Program where they recognized the efforts of the volunteers. To learn more about the Pearl Street Cupboard and Café operated by the United Way of Tri-County, visit their website at

A special thanks to the following members and signatory contractors who donated time and materials to this project:

Rick Anktell, Local 475
William Christopherson, Local 475
Harry Crone, Local 475
Scott Cunningham, Local 475
James Falconi, Local 475
Doug Frazier, Local 2168
David Grange, Local 475
Tom Henry, Local 475
Chris Iarussi, Local 475
Paul Iarussi, Local 475
Walter Jodrey, Local 475
Tim Kissane, Local 475
Kurt Niermeyer, Local 475
Tom Quinlan, Local 2168
Mike Rodgers, Local 475
Tom Rowley, Local 475
Charles Ryan, Local 475
Ted Seasholes, Local 475 American Acoustical Contractors Corp.
Central Ceilings, Inc.
Contract Flooring Installations, Inc.
Robert Fers/Brownstone Construction