IKEA volunteers make a positive impact: Building 3 bedrooms for children in need

In a world that is often marked by fast-paced business environments and bottom-line priorities, it is refreshing to see companies prioritize corporate social responsibility. IKEA Canada is once again taking the lead in giving back to the community, and this time, they added a unique twist to their volunteering efforts.

A different approach

Building bedrooms for children in need

On the afternoon of January 15th, from 1pm to 4pm, IKEA was on-site at Furniture Bank, focusing on a distinctive approach to support those in need. Instead of a conventional volunteering experience, the IKEA Business Development team decided to utilize their expertise in creating functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces. The teams were divided into three groups, and then assigned the task of creating a room tailored to a child, each with a different age and living situation. This innovative approach not only allows the team to contribute their skills but also adds a personal touch to the donation.

Below is the storyboard and instructions provided by IKEA to the teams participating in the volunteer exercise:

Team A

The fairytale within reach

Newborn / toddler (0–3-year-old)

Scenario: Living with a baby (baby 1 year old) 2 parents of 28 and 30 years old.

Income: Low income (below the poverty line), not on many government supports outside child benefit, no discretionary income.

Origin (Country): Syria, Refugee Family

Price level: Low

Main products needed:

  • Crib
  • Change table
  • Baby care mat
  • Sheets
  • Lamp
  • Toys
  • Products to support the caretaker
  • Plus any other products that fit into budget, get creative

An affordable room where the child can grow and let their imagination loose through creative play. It requires free space to play and act, a place to sleep and cuddle up for Storytime. The room also needs storage solutions for clothes and toys with an eco-responsible feeling

Team B

An adventurous room

A young child (5-6 years old)

Scenario: Young child (girl, 5-6 years old), single parent 35 years old.

Income: Government supports only, deep poverty line.

Origin (Country): Canadian

Price level: Low

Main products needed:

  • Childs bed
  • Mattress
  • Night stand
  • Toys
  • Sheets
  • Plus any other products that fit in budget, get creative

An affordable room where the child can grow and let their imagination loose through creative play. It requires free space to play and act, a place to sleep and cuddle up for Storytime. The room also needs storage solutions for clothes and toys with an eco-responsible feeling

Team C

Aim high, reach far

Preteen (12-year-old)

Scenario: Living with (teen, boy 12 years old, single parent) new immigrant

Income: $35,000

Origin (Country): Russia

Price level: Low

Main products needed:

  • Childs bed
  • Mattress
  • Table/desk, something to do homework on
  • Toys
  • Sheets/textiles
  • Plus any other products that fit into budget, get creative

A bedroom that caters to all the activities and needs for a (soon to be) young adult. Besides a place to sleep, this small room requires full use of the height for storing clothes, belongings and to show off some personality. There is also a need for a desk/table to do homework and a soft place to hang out with a friend.

To ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness, each team operated within a set budget. The plan involved purchasing furniture and decor items from IKEA, a brand known for its affordable yet stylish offerings. By carefully selecting items within budget constraints, the team aimed to maximize the impact of their donation while addressing the harsh reality of those experiencing furniture poverty.

“One would think a budget of $700 would be sufficient to provide all the furniture a family with a child might need, but it barely scratches the surface.” — IKEA volunteer

The volunteer experience

The volunteer event kicked off with the teams delivering their chosen items to Furniture Bank. The afternoon was dedicated to hands-on work, as IKEA team members rolled up their sleeves to assemble the furniture. 

“This activity really showed me the importance of items that can function in multiple ways, such as a crib that can convert to a small bed, or a shelving unit that can be used a bench with just a little creativity.” — IKEA volunteer

This direct involvement not only fostered teamwork but also ensured that the donated items were ready to be utilized by Furniture Bank clients as soon as possible. 

Building on a positive foundation

This initiative builds on IKEA Canada’s previous positive experiences with Furniture Bank, showcasing an ongoing commitment to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those less fortunate. To learn more about IKEA’s environmental and social initiatives, visit their people and planet page here.

“This community event was a huge success. Coming together with our business development team to learn more about how IKEA can support affordability, sustainability and tackle furniture poverty in Canada was a very humbling experience for me.” — IKEA volunteer

By combining creativity, teamwork, and cost-effectiveness, the Business Development team was able to build impactful room setups that go beyond just providing furniture—they represent comfortable spaces that restore dignity and inspire hope.

In an era where corporate responsibility is increasingly vital, IKEA Canada sets an inspiring example for businesses looking to make a positive impact on the communities they serve. Take a look at IKEA’s previous volunteer days at Furniture Bank. 

Want to participate in an impactful volunteer event with your team?

Make an impact today!

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