Summer 2018 Newsletter

CHAIR AFFAIR

Mark your calendars. Book your baby-and/or dog-sitters. The Furniture Bank’s annual gala, The Chair Affair, will be held Nov. 2nd, 2018. Join us for a night of fun and fundraising, as we party for the cause. Stay tuned for details about this exciting event.

Dad’s Chair


Those who know me well, know I love to read. Novels, blogs, magazines – my love of the written word is part of who I am. Looking back, I need to thank my amazing father – and his chair – for sparking my love of reading.

I remember curling up on my dad’s lap as a child. Sitting in the comfort of his wonderfully cozy leather armchair, we’d regularly discover new mysteries, new adventures, and new horizons. It was in this chair that he introduced me to Tolkien’s Bilbo Baggins and so many other fantastic characters, authors, and worlds.

Thankfully, both my dad and his armchair are still with us. I’m forever grateful for this cherished father-son time, as it helped shaped me into the voracious reader I am today.

I now realize how lucky my family was to live in a fully-furnished home where we could build such memories. Sadly, there are so many families in the GTA who are not so fortunate; there is no reading chair. In fact, there might not be any chairs at all.

I invite you to take a moment to look back on your memories of your father and a favourite piece of furniture that shaped your childhood. And as you do, think about the memories a young child and their parent(s) could build with a chair you’ve donated.

Thanks, and Happy Father’s Day to all the “dads” out there! You come in many forms – and sometimes in the shape of a single mom. The role you play in your building your child’s future, and memories, is irreplaceable and invaluable.

Berto’s First Father’s Day


Thanks to the generosity of Furniture Bank donors, this June Rigoberto (Berto) will celebrate his first Father’s Day with his wife and their five-month-old son in a newly furnished home.

Fleeing strife and gang violence in El Salvador, the couple came to Canada in November 2017. Forced to leave quickly due to death threats to his wife and her family, and unable to afford the costs of moving the contents of their home, the couple arrived with nothing but the clothes on their back.

With no credit or employer or landlord references, the couple initially struggled to secure a home of their own. Luckily, Berto’s family in Toronto was able to provide them a temporary, safe place to stay until they found their own apartment.

The family finally moved into their first apartment in January with nothing but a car seat and a bed. While the joy and love they felt for their new baby was unparalleled, they felt equally burdened by the reality of their bleak situation. Undeterred, Berto soon started intensive English lessons. With a new work visa in hand, he was excited to get back into the workforce so that he can provide for his family.

With your continued support, we can help more fathers – and families – create memories they can cherish for years to come. Please help spread the word about Furniture Bank, and the ongoing need for quality donated furniture and furnishings.

Helping Hands


Catherine Cheverie

After retiring from a meaningful career in the field of mental health, Catherine Cheverie knew she wanted to volunteer. Not knowing where to start, her
neighbours encouraged her to consider Furniture Bank.

Almost three years later, Catherine looks forward to her weekly shifts with the Monday morning crew – a tight team of volunteers who have bonded over their shared passion. When they are not out on the floor with clients, the group is busy in the sorting room sifting through boxes of donations of housewares to pick out items suitable for families.

As a showroom guide, Catherine has the privilege of working directly with clients, helping them choose items that will make their house a home. Catherine, who loves hearing their stories, sees first-hand the happiness – and sense of relief – experienced by individuals and families accessing Furniture Bank.

“There have been a lot of meaningful moments and interactions, and I am often inspired by our client’s courage and resilience,” she shares. “Recently a young man who was so happy and excited to be getting his furniture said “This is so wonderful… Canada is such a great place.” He was so happy and
grateful.”

When asked about a piece of furniture that holds meaning for her, Catherine shared a story about the kitchen bench from her father’s boyhood home that now sits proudly in her own kitchen. Her uncle even wrote a story about the bench and all the things (oh, the things!) it had seen throughout the years.

Furniture Bank is grateful to volunteers like Catherine, who share their time and talent with the organization. If you are interested in volunteering, please connect with us at furniturebank.org/volunteer.

You have the power to tranform Lives !

Learn how you can become a monthly donor to support Furniture Bank. Your gift will create a home and a true sense of belonging for a family.

If you have gently used furniture to donate, visit this page for Drop-Off guidelines or book a pickup appointment by calling 416-934-1229 or clicking below.

Offering a Leg Up on life


Meet Lloyd

In addition to being the only charity of its kind in the GTA and a social enterprise, did you know that Furniture Bank also runs an employment program?
Leg Up provides marginalized youth and newcomers who face barriers to employment a supportive and empathetic environment in which to develop skills needed to find long-term work and financial stability.

Beyond learning job-related ‘hard skills’, such as furniture repair or logistics, participants are coached on the ‘soft skills’ required to be successful in today’s competitive workforce. Many, including recent graduate Lloyd, end up working at Furniture Bank.

After high school, Lloyd struggled to find full-time work and found himself aimlessly moving from job to job. When the youth employment group with which he was involved came to Furniture Bank to volunteer for a morning, he immediately gravitated towards the work and the warehouse staff. So much so, that he stayed on after the morning shift and continued helping the team for the rest of the day. He was soon accepted into Leg Up in a hybrid role training in both the warehouse and furniture workshop.

Since completing the program, Lloyd has shown tremendous growth. Currently employed full-time as a Team Mover, he takes great pride in knowing that
his hard work helps reestablish the lives of people transitioning out of homelessness and displacement.

“Furniture Bank is the first job I have ever had that has lasted longer than a couple of months,” shared Lloyd. “I like working normal hours here and making new friends. This is the best place I’ve ever worked. I’ve found purpose in my job.”

With your continued support, we can grow our operations to serve more families and underemployed youth like Lloyd; youth who need guidance and a meaningful opportunity to realize their potential. If you are not already a monthly donor to Furniture Bank, please consider setting up a small gift. Your contribution will enable us to help more neighbours in need of a ‘Leg Up’.