urniture Sharehouse today announced the grand opening of its warehouse facility for the collection and distribution of donated furniture. The facility is located at the Westchester County Airport, White Plains, N.Y.++++ Furniture Sharehouse collects gently-used or new home furnishings from homes and businesses in the community, and redistributes them free of charge to those in need. These include families and individuals moving out of homeless shelters into permanent housing, women and children escaping domestic violence, young adults aging out of foster care, working families struggling to stay ahead and victims of fires or other natural disasters.
“Furniture Sharehouse joins approximately 70 furniture banks across the country that together provide more than one million pieces of furniture to over 100,000 families,” said Kate Bialo, founder of Furniture Sharehouse. “It’s a win-win for everyone – generous donors find a good home for their furniture with families who need and appreciate it, and we keep tons of furniture items out of our landfills and incinerators.”
Furniture is distributed through member agencies, which refer pre-qualified clients to Furniture Sharehouse to select much-needed free furniture. Member agencies include: Westhab, Inc., Human Development Services of Westchester, Mamaroneck Community Action Program Center, The Carver Center and The Guidance Center, with more signing up every day. ++++ Furniture Sharehouse is a community project of The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound (JLWOS), which provided $30,000 to enable Furniture Sharehouse to lease warehouse space and commence operations in January 2007. JLWOS also provides many volunteers who run the furniture bank operations.
“The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound is proud to have been instrumental in making Furniture Sharehouse a reality and helping to fulfill its goal of providing free, basic home furnishings to those who need it most,” said Kristine Budill, president of JLWOS.
Furniture Sharehouse is also the recipient of a $20,000 Emergency Shelter Grant from the Westchester County Department of Planning to assist homeless families moving into permanent housing.
In March, Furniture Sharehouse participated with other relief agencies in a “Furniture Fair” in Mamaroneck following the flooding that devastated many homes. Furniture Sharehouse is again coordinating with these agencies and volunteer groups in the hard-hit Sound Shore communities to organize furniture collection and distribution within the communities following the April storms.
“The losses in parts of Mamaroneck alone are staggering – entire households of furniture are ruined,” said Bialo. “We will be doing everything we can to make the furniture we already have available to families in dire need. In addition, the phone is ringing off the hook with calls from generous people anxious to donate more furniture, and we will be working hard to get those donations to the people who need it the most.”
In addition to Bialo and Budill, guest speakers at the grand opening ceremony included: Norma Drummond, deputy commissioner, Westchester County Department of Planning; Diane Stern, associate commissioner, Westchester County Department of Social Services; Robert L. Miller, president and CEO, Westhab, Inc.; and Don Lawrence, executive director, National Furniture Bank Association.
About Furniture Sharehouse Furniture Sharehouse, Westchester’s Furniture Bank, accepts donations of gently-used furniture for re-distribution to needy families in Westchester County. Furniture Sharehouse is a New York State not-for-profit organization, and is tax-exempt under IRS section 501(c)(3). Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. Go to www.furnituresharehouse.org or call 914-834-1294 for more information.
About The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound (JLWOS) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the Sound Shore communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Founded in 1950, JLWOS is comprised of women from Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Rye and Rye Brook, N.Y. www.jlwos.org ++++ About The National Furniture Bank Association Furniture Sharehouse is a member of the National Furniture Bank Association, which helps furniture banks increase existing capacity and works to help open new furniture banks. www.help1up.org