Photo courtesy of Furniture Bank

“Out of nowhere, we had a mountain of things,” Claudia says. In the space of one year, she had lost her mother and both her in-laws. As though their deaths weren’t enough, Claudia now had to sort through the contents of two large houses. “Cookware, appliances, all manner of furniture…it was too much to handle.”

That’s when Claudia discovered Furniture Bank, a charitable organization that provides free, gently-used furniture for women and children escaping abuse, those moving beyond homelessness, newcomers, and refugees.

The program is partially funded by the (competitive fees) that Furniture Bank charges for professionally removing furniture and household items from families that no longer need them. Many of the organization’s donors are like Claudia and her husband—families with too many household goods and no need or use for them.

“Furniture Bank provided not just a good solution for a good cause, but a positive experience. Their pricing was competitive, we kept things from landfills and got an amazing charitable tax receipt for the items donated!

“From the person who booked the pick up to the men who moved the things out, everyone involved was helpful and kind. They made every step easy for us, which I appreciated especially during a difficult time.”

It was also meaningful. Claudia knew that her mother would have been proud to donate her belongings. “She would have been pleased to know that her furniture was going to be put to good use again in another family’s home. It’s a lovely continuation of her legacy.”

Empty housing is not a home (until it’s furnished!) With over five million Canadians living in poverty and 13 percent experiencing chronic homelessness, we have a crisis. Without a furniture bank –families trying to furnish an empty apartment will need to find more than $4,000 to get the beds, tables and home goods to create a home. This adds tens of thousands of families to be trapped by furniture poverty. Since 1998, Furniture Bank has supported marginalized and displaced families and individuals experiencing furniture poverty to receive the need home furnishing essentials and turn empty housing into furnished homes since 1998.

With members across Canada, a furniture bank makes it easier to make a difference in your community while diverting your used furniture from landfills.

“If you’ve never lived in a room with nothing in it, you won’t understand how it feels—it breaks you. But now, look at this furniture, all from people I don’t know! I wish I could tell them what it means to me. These things are putting me back together.” —Todd, A Furniture Bank Client

Global Heroes 005CA Volume 2 - Issue 3
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Founded in 1998, Furniture Bank is a registered charity and social enterprise which redistributes gently-used furniture and housewares from donors in the community to families and individuals experiencing furniture poverty.

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