Furniture Bank

January 23, 2011

Last weekend a group of six of us helped out at the Furniture Bank in downtown Toronto.  I had no idea this place existed, and it serves such a vital need.  I felt the difference it made when I saw the before and after pictures of the places their items helped to furnish.

Some of their clients are people who were fortunate enough to find a place to stay and keep dry, but did not have any money to have any furniture.  Their room would have nothing but a sleeping bag and their clothes were kept in a knapsack.  With furniture bank, they were able to have a bed, a chair and a little table.  They could have a home where they could truly look forward to going to rest and sleep comfortably.  It’s the comforts so many of us don’t even think about, but enjoy day-to-day as a given…

We took clients around the warehouse and they were able to choose the pieces they needed.  There were big items like sofas and beds and tables to small items like dishes and picture frames.  The clients were so overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who donated the furniture…I remember the family we took around saying, “We could have another item?  Really??  I could have a desk AND a dinner table?  We could have chairs for the table too?” It was truly eye-opening and you felt the immediate impact you were going to make for the people you were with.

Furniture Bank was initially started by a nun in a church basement.  Since then it has expanded to a large building with a back area where donated furniture gets repaired and even steam-cleaned before getting put out onto the show floor.  Many of their hired staff are actually people in the community that needed a job but would normally have difficultly finding full-time employment.  This is an agency that truly helps their community in anyway possible.

If you are interested in helping out or have items you would like to donate, you could find out more by visiting http://www.furniturebank.org/

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