Last year I noticed that the big toy warehouse store that I used to frequent when my kids were small, had turned into the Furniture Bank. I didn’t think anything more of it until Julie Jenkinson mentioned it a few weeks ago. So being the curious person that I am, I investigated. And what I found was a very unique non-profit organization.
Truly the only one of it’s kind in Eastern Canada, the Furniture Bank has helped approximately 2500 families and individuals get off the streets here in Toronto. And it was responsible for diverting 1138 tons of furniture from landfills in 2009. A non-profit organization that helps families in need, does a huge part for the environment, and deals with furniture! This had my name all over it! So I got involved.
What makes the Furniture Bank unique is that they receive furniture donations from private individuals and larger organizations like hotels. They are aligned with about 60 agencies (the largest being Streets to Homes) that help people get off the streets by finding them accommodations. The Furniture Bank then helps these families furnish their new accommodations, absolutely free.
All furniture is steam cleaned and in very good condition. Pieces are repaired, electronics are refurbished and even brand new pillows are made.
Chando and Laura
Richard Evans, who co-ordinates the 97 volunteers and is the client service manager, says about 200 families are helped every month. As a volunteer, I get to help the families and individuals pick their new furniture and items. Truly a most satisfying experience.
Organizations like this need not only donations but funds to continuing operating and so rely on fundraising events. Linda Sicoli and Melody Jackson are the amazing women behind this year’s event – THE CHAIR AFFAIR.
Thirty artists and designers will be decorating a chair that they picked from the Furniture Bank. These one-of-a-kind chairs will then be auctioned. Check out the chair that I picked. And follow me on Twitter to find out what I’m doing with my chair.
Sponsored by the Brick and covered by Global, this event is sure to be a great success. Stay tuned for where in the city you’ll be able to actually see the chairs.
Melody Jackson and Linda Sicoli
And remember, when you’re doing your fall cleaning this weekend, take any gently used furniture, electronics, or household items to the Furniture Bank.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
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