Moving? Redecorating? Get rid of your old furniture while helping out someone who needs it. Furniture Sharehouse, which just opened its warehouse facility for the collection and distribution of donated furniture, collects gently-used or new home furnishings from homes and businesses in the community, and redistributes them free of charge to those in need. "It's a win-win for everyone," says Kate Bialo, Furniture Sharehouse founder. "Generous donors find a good home for their furniture with families who need and appreciate it, and we keep tons of furniture items out of our landfills and incinerators."
A community project of The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound (JLWOS), Furniture Warehouse was provided the funds to lease warehouse space as well as many volunteers who run the furniture bank operations. Furniture is distributed through member agencies, which refer pre-qualified clients to select much-needed free items. Those who benefit include families moving out of homeless shelters into permanent housing, women and children escaping domestic violence, young adults aging out of foster care, working families struggling to stay ahead, and victims of fires or other natural disasters such as the recent flooding in the county. Monetary donations are also now being accepted to help purchase new mattresses for the over 120 families in Mamaroneck who lost their beds in the recent flooding. If your SUV isn't big enough to bring your furniture to the facility at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, a pickup can be scheduled online and all donations are tax deductible. For more information and donation guidelines, call (914) 834-1294, email email@example.com, or visit www.furnituresharehouse.org.
And Goodwill has opened asuperstore and donation center in Elmsford. Located at 380 North Saw Mill River Road (near Skyline Drive), this is the third superstore to open in Westchester County. Goodwill is a nonprofit human services organization that works with recent immigrants, persons with disabilities and disadvantages, children and youth, seniors, the unemployed, people moving from welfare to work, ex-offenders and other New Yorkers through more than 70 programs at 30 sites. The Elmsford store, providing jobs for more than a dozen people from the area, some of them with disabilities, offers a variety of new and "gently used" clothing, shoes, accessories, household items and toys. Donations are being accepted; all donations are tax-deductible and receipts are provided upon request. Hours are 10am-8pm Monday through Saturday, and 10am-7pm on Sunday. To learn more about all Goodwill programs and stores, visit www.goodwillny.org. The Elmsford store can be reached at (914) 347-4376.
More great causes
—Donations to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester are also tax-deductible, and they'll come to you to pick up! Needed are: used clothing and shoes, toys, books, towels and blankets, curtains and sheets. Call (914) 963-4453 to schedule a pickup.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) program places volunteers (ages 18 +) in one-on-one mentoring relationships with disadvantaged kids ages 7-15. Research has shown that mentoring works. A national study found that kids who participate in the BBBS program are 52 percent less likely to skip a day of school and 46 percent less likely to start using drugs.
—Gilda's Club Westchester, which provides support for families living through cancer treatment, prides itself on its clubhouse feel. Monetary donations are always welcome, but they also have a wish list that might appeal. Here's what they currently need:
Tablecloths (large rectangular and small square)
(2) desktop computers
Snacks for programs
Sponsorships — sponsor a dinner at Gilda's Club
Gift Certificates to Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, etc.
1 Canon PowerShot 6.0-Megapixel Digital Camera, Model: A540
Cancer Vixen: A True Story (2 copies)
Author: Marisa Acocella Marchetto
Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (2005 Edition) (2 copies)
Author: Susan Love
So That Your Values Live On: Ethical Wills and How to Prepare Them (2 copies)
Author: Jack Riemer and Nathaniel Stampfer
The Goldfish Went on Vacation: A Memoir of Loss (and learning to tell the truth about it) (2 copies)
Author: Patty Dann
Call ahead to ensure against duplicating donations. Gilda's Club Westchester is located at 80 Maple Avenue, White Plains. (914) 644-8844. www.gildasclubwestchester.org.