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Emergency Interiors, The National Furniture Bank Association & Industry Partners Join To Help Katrina Victims

Furniture World News


Emergency Interiors, a non-profit furniture bank dedicated to delivering furnishings to disaster survivors, has commemorated the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by developing a program to distribute essential home furnishings to 1,000 displaced families along the gulf coast by December 2007. More than 5,000 pieces of furniture have already been committed to the effort, led by the National Furniture Bank Association (NFBA), furniture industry heavyweights Ethan Allen, Rooms to Go, and Thomasville, hotel chains such as Marriott, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites, and other major institutional donors. Ethan Allen has offered $2 million worth of surplus inventory, and the Department of the Navy has also joined the effort by sending furniture from the decommissioned naval base in Lakehurst, NJ. The need for furniture assistance to families in the gulf remains high as returning families find that the process of rebuilding their homes requires them to draw upon all available funds. Food, rent and clothing for children always come first. As a consequence, many families have no other choice than to eat and sleep on the floor. "There was such a wonderful outpouring of help immediately after Katrina hit," said Emergency Interiors executive director Kevin Polk, "but the sad truth is that the rebuilding process is expected to last for many years longer. That means that we will continue to have families living on the floor. We are looking to the home furnishings industry to get involved." The NFBA’s executive director, Don Lawrence, said that furniture donations from the industry are always appreciated. “Financial support is what’s most needed. The cost of collecting and shipping furniture to the gulf is a heavy load for Emergency Interiors to bear,” said Lawrence. “The NFBA needs the industry support to continue serving less fortunate families in America. A number of companies donated a million dollars each to non-furniture industry charities after Hurricane Katrina, which represents four years of our total budget. We’re serving over 100,000 families every year on a shoestring.” The Hurricane Katrina drive will be launched on August 29th, 2007 with distribution events in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Southern Mississippi. All Congregations Together will serve as the lead charitable distribution agency for the New Orleans, which will serve 29 families in the Lower 9th Ward; Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation for Baton Rouge; and Restoration Point Foundation for Southern Mississippi, which aims to assist 200 families from Bay St. Louis MS to Bayou La Batre AL. About the National Furniture Bank Association (NFBA): The National Furniture Banks Association (NFBA) is the unified charitable organization of the home furnishings industry. Comprised of a network of over 60 furniture banks across the country, the NFBA’s facilitates Help1Up, the free furniture removal service for the public and businesses. Furniture banks collect usable home furnishings and provide it directly to families in need. The Help1Up service is socially conscious, environmentally friendly, and keeps used furniture out of consignment stores and landfills. The NFBA is endorsed by all major home furnishings industry associations: AHFA - American Home Furnishings Alliance; BIFMA - Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association International; CFMA - California Furniture Manufacturers Association; FAI - Futon Association International; HFIA - Home Furnishings International Association; IDS - Interior Design Society; IHFRA - International Home Furnishings Representatives Association; NHFA - National Home Furnishings Association; NARDA - North American Retail Dealers Association; UFA - Unfinished Furniture Association; WHFA - Western Home Furnishings Association; and, WithIt - Women in the Home Industries Today. For more information contact: Don Lawrence Executive Director National Furniture Bank Association (NFBA) (800) 576 0774 dlawrence@help1up.org Kevin Polk Executive Director Emergency Interiors 919-345-8516 kpolk@emergencyinteriors.org