Sometimes, you’re lucky enough to meet people who inspire you to do more. That’s what happened when I met the people from Furniture Bank.
Powered By Search encourages its team to get involved with charities. So a few of us started looking for a charity who needed help with their website or social media. And then we found Furniture Bank.
Furniture Bank helps people and families by providing them with all of the essentials that we take for granted. They give desks to kids who have nowhere to do their homework. They find kitchen tables for people who can’t remember the last time they had a family meal together.
They collect furniture by sending trucks to people who are looking to donate/get rid of their old stuff. And their challenge is raising awareness, so people know that it’s MUCH better to donate your old stuff, instead of throwing it out or letting it sit in your basement.
So I gathered the geniuses from our design and development, SEO, and social media team for a little field trip to Furniture Bank, so we could give them a hand with their digital marketing.
“It’s 1-800-Junk Meets the Brick”
When I first spoke to Dan Kershaw, Executive Director of furniture bank, he said his organization definitely wasn’t a sleepy not-for-profit. He described their operation as, “1-800-Junk Meets the Brick,” in that they were basically running a furniture pick-up service, and a furniture showroom/ warehouse at the same time.
But I still didn’t quite get the scope of it all. It wasn’t until we stepped into the building and got a tour from Noah Kravitz, their Community Engagement Manager, that I started to get it.
This place is absolutely massive. It’s row after row of couches, chairs, tables, desks and mattresses. It’s also full of little things like lamps, dishes, framed art and end tables; the little things that don’t seem like a big deal until you don’t have them.
Noah started the tour by showing us a series of drawings from kids who had received donations. They were adorable pictures, showing the kids having “Family Time” and gathered around a TV or kitchen table they got from the Furniture Bank. Let me tell you, that will punch you in your feels, right there.
So Much More Than Furniture
During our tour, Noah told us that they may help as many as 20 families in one day when they’re really busy. That’s 20 families who will walk around this amazing showroom and pick out their new furniture. These are families who have fallen on hard times, or maybe they are fleeing abuse, or they might even be Syrian refugees. The Furniture Bank helps everyone.
Noah went on to tell me that when people get just a little bit of help, they can do incredible things. He said you would be amazed how many people take donations from the Furniture Bank to get on their feet, built their lives back up and get good jobs. Now these people can afford their own new furniture, and donate back to the Furniture Bank to bring the experience full circle.
The energy in this place is unreal. So much activity. There are people moving and showing off the furniture. There are people refinishing tables and chairs in a workshop. There are people in their in-house call center, booking appointments and directing the fleet of moving trucks.
It seems like every single moving part in the Furniture Bank does something good for the community. A lot of their employees are people who would’ve faced barriers getting jobs elsewhere. And many of their volunteers are grateful former clients.
They are some of the coolest and most caring people you’ll ever meet. Everybody needs to know about the great work they do. And everybody needs to stop throwing out their old furniture and start giving it to the Furniture Bank.
How You Can Help
You can arrange a furniture pick up by visiting www.furniturebank.org or by calling 416-934-1229 Ext #2.
Now go into your basement and donate all the furniture that has just been sitting there for years. Just saying. You could put a ping-pong table in that space.
Next, do the same to your storage locker and garage, so we can help as many families as possible.