HELPING WITH FURNITURE
Helping With Furniture (HWF) provides hope, comfort, and stability to families and individuals who are starting over, and transforms empty dwellings into homes. Clients are emerging from precarious circumstances and referred by social agencies. Volunteers pick up donated, gently-used furniture and household items; sort them; deliver free of charge; and provide after-delivery support. In addition to furniture, we distribute to clients other necessary items such as toys, bicycles, and volunteer-refurbished computers.
HWF rents a 2,000 square-foot warehouse that is much smaller than they need, and is always filled to capacity with furniture donations. For several years, HWF has supplemented the space with two reduced-rate rental 16-foot “PODS” containers for furniture storage. The PODS containers have provided supplemental storage – essential to their mission in that they allowed HWF to accept more donations and furnish more homes. The containers allow the separation of mattresses from other furniture and prevent the possible spread of bedbugs. By expanding its storage capacity, HWF has been able to: avoid turning away donations due to lack of space; prevent more furniture from entering landfills every year; allow HWF to furnish more homes for those restarting their lives; and maintain volunteer engagement and commitment by reducing the difficulty of working in the overcrowded warehouse.
However, after several years of service to HWF volunteers, the elements have taken their toll. The PODS container, in significant disrepair, have reached the end of their useful lives.
HWF needs more storage space, and they have determined that the best investment would be the purchase of two 20-foot 14-gauge steel shipping containers. Commercial-grade storage containers have wood floors inside for safe traction in loading and unloading. Lockable storage containers are wind and water tight to keep inventory safe, and offer an advantage in that doors open straight out instead of up – which is inconvenient for mattresses that can get caught in vertical doors. Most importantly, the additional space (over 2700 cubic feet total) would represent a 1000 cubic feet addition to the former PODS container capacity (1714), and allow HWF to better service the needs of the people they support.