Why we charge for pickups

It’s all about keeping the lights on

A question we are often asked is why, as a charity, does Furniture Bank charge for furniture pickup.

The short answer is: “So that we can pay the bills every month and continue to offer donated furniture for free to marginalized families.”

The slightly longer answer is: “So that we can pay the bills every month and continue to offer donated furniture for free to marginalized families. Unlike other charities with retail social enterprises – e.g. Salvation Army, ReStore (which take donated items and sell them to the public to fund their operations), we raise money through our furniture pickup service.This revenue closes the gap between our operating costs and the grants and donations we receive from our generous supporters.”

The long answer: “So that we can pay the bills every month and continue to offer donated furniture for free to marginalized families. And, unlike a junk-removal company that would charge you $250 or more to take your unwanted items to the dump, we provide the same furniture removal service but with huge social & environmental impacts!

When you hire Furniture Bank our pickup fee enables us to:

  • Provide free furniture to marginalized members of our community.
  • Pay rent and utilities on our 27,000 ft2 facility, which houses:
    • the warehouse where we unload donations of gently-used furniture and prepare orders for up to 20 families in need per day.
    • our furniture showroom which offers clients the dignity of choosing furnishings suited to their personal style and space restrictions of their new homes
    • the Workshop where we salvage and repair slightly damaged furniture and make them available to families instead of ending up in landfill.
    • the Studio – another social enterprise within Furniture Bank run by a master artisan who upcycles furniture for resale to designers at a local consignment shop.
    • our modest office, the hub of Furniture Bank’s operations.
  • Maintain, insure and operate a fleet of 11 trucks year-round! That’s a lot of gas.
  • Employ over 20 drivers and movers through our social hire program, Leg-Up. 
  • Significantly subsidize furniture delivery costs for client families whose deliveries are not covered by their referring agency.
  • Sustain a charity with 50 employees that is only partly funded by financial donations and grants.
  • Actively reduce and reuse your usable, gently-used furniture – which means it’s not ending up in landfill.

And, if that’s not reason enough, we also issue gift-in-kind charitable donation tax receipts for the value of your furniture donation.

Of course, our pick-up service is optional. If you’d like to find a new home for your unused furniture and housewares, you can also drop them off to our warehouse in Etobicoke. Our warehouse team will gratefully accept your donation and collect your information for your tax receipt.

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