How Many Steps Does It Take to Change a Life?

Medical authorities around the world agree that walking is a great way to improve your health. It increases fitness, energy and helps lower the risk of developing diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Health officials recommend 10,000 steps a day to improve your health.

Every morning at Furniture Bank five volunteers walk, on average, 10,000 steps while assisting clients choose items for their new homes. Here is one of their stories.

Here’s a story from one such volunteer, Keran:


Recently, I greeted a client with what I thought was a welcoming greeting and a warm smile but in return I received only a grunt.

“What are you looking for today?”

“A mattress and a coffee table and if you don’t have a mattress, it’s okay.”

So we went to find mattresses. I apologized that we didn’t have any box springs or bed frames, but we did have four single mattresses that he could choose from.

“I get to choose?”

“Of course, you’re going to be sleeping on it so make sure you choose the one you like.”

“And, I get to choose? ”


After making his selection he took a moment and looked around the showroom floor.

I asked him what else he would like.

An ever so slight smirk appeared on his face and he said, “I didn’t know there would be choices.”

By the time he had selected two chairs and we’d made it round to the housewares section, we were having a conversation. I learned about his daughter and he shared how he had given up drinking eight years ago. On the way back to reception he chose two paintings and stopped. He extended his hand and shook mine.

“Thank you. This is a wonderful place. I had no idea you had so many things.”

We had gone from a grunt to a grin in just 2000 steps.


Together with individual volunteer opportunities, Furniture Bank’s corporate volunteer program is an innovative initiative that allows companies, from Bay Street corporations to a local coffee shop, to partner with us to give back to their community .

At least once a week a group of corporate volunteers join our team of regular volunteers to become showroom guides for the morning. By helping clients pick out furniture for their homes, volunteers get a taste of what it’s like to be in need of furniture.

But that’s not the way only way corporate groups get involved. Many choose to offer their services and expertise to help our charity and social enterprise extend its social impact.

Furniture Bank wouldn’t be where it is today without our individual and corporate volunteers, who last year numbered over 700, accumulating over 10,000 volunteer hours. To them we say ‘THANK YOU!’

Learn more about corporate volunteer opportunities at Furniture Bank here.

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