The Furniture Bank Story
How an empty apartment inspired a movement
One evening Sister Anne Schenck was asked by Catholic Immigration Services to visit one of their clients because they had no furniture. When she arrived, she found a ‘home’ furnished with a milk crate used as a table, and a pot which the dinner was cooked and served in. She learnt that her hosts ate and slept on the floor.
On her way back home that evening, she came upon a gently used sofa that had been left out on the curb for disposal. Sister Anne credits that experience for spawning the idea that gave rise to Furniture Bank – an organization that facilitated the transfer of furniture from individuals disposing of gently used items, to homes in need of them.
In her social work in the years that followed, she encountered a dire lack of furnishing options for financially vulnerable individuals, and a growing collection of supporters of her idea. With the help of numerous volunteers, countless hours of pro-bono work and financial donations, small and large, Sister Anne formally incorporated Furniture Bank as a charity in 1998.
4 Walls Alone Don’t Make a Home