Carlo and his supervisor Rick have been moving furniture together for years…

Furniture Bank has evolved in many ways over the past decade. While these changes and improvements have greatly increased our ability to help people reestablishing their lives, we also have benefited from the efforts of longtime staff members whose consistency and contributions cannot be overstated. Carlo from our warehouse team is one of these individuals. 

Carlo first came to Furniture Bank in 2004 via a volunteer placement through Community Living Toronto (CLT). He had seen a news piece about our organization on CP24 and when he came to our facility to make a donation, he decided he’d like to augment his gift of furniture with the gift of time. 

Born with Down syndrome, a part-time role volunteering at Furniture Bank was the perfect complement to some of the other activities that Carlo enjoyed via CLT. He quickly became a beloved member of our family. From his first day spent shuttling couches, tables and chairs around our then-home on Madison Avenue in downtown Toronto, Carlo’s work ethic was obvious and his enthusiasm for helping others came through in spades. Whether it was loading or unloading trucks, packing boxes of housewares to be sorted for donation or helping to sand down wooden tables and chairs, Carlo made a big impact within our small team and he’s been enjoying a paid position with our crew for the past seven years. 

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“This job is a big, big part of Carlo’s life”, says friend and CLT Support Worker Rick Kane. “There is a reason Carlo typically will show up to work an hour early. It’s a highlight of his week and it’s great for him to have the ability to help out and be active. In general, other organizations would be so lucky as to have staff that are that excited to start their work day.” 

During Carlo’s Furniture Bank tenure, he has worked at our former Madison Avenue and Peel Street locations, in additional to our current home on Connell Court in Etobicoke. We have playfully given Carlo the nickname “Carlo the Destroyer”, a testament to the speed and gusto that Carlo shows while handling furniture and other household goods. Aside from his obvious passion for the work, Carlo helps keep the mood light in the warehouse even during busy times, offering up hugs or sharing laughs to keep our spirits high. 

Carlo spends every Wednesday and Friday morning at Furniture Bank and during the other days of the week, he enjoys a range of other activities arranged by CLT and having fun around Toronto with Rick and other friends. He particularly loves bowling and watching a wide range of televised sports during his downtime at home. 

An organization is only as strong as its staff and volunteers, and our organization is no different in this regard. Passion is a big element of all the work we do and Carlo is a major contributor in this and many other categories. We look forward to his continued contributions in the years to come. 

For more information about Community Living Toronto and to learn about the range of services and programs they offer, please visit http://cltoronto.ca/