LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Imagine moving into a new house, apartment or condominium and having nothing to furnish it with: no bed, no table, no chairs. Scenarios like this are more common than you think in Westchester, which is where Furniture Sharehouse comes in.
"When individuals or families come out of foster care, a homeless shelter or experience a disaster and they receive an apartment, they’re lucky if they even get curtains," said Laura Ruddy, PR & Social Media Director at Furniture Sharehouse. "I don’t think we realize how much of a need for furniture there is in Westchester County; this is a real problem."
Founded in 2006 by Kate Bialo of Larchmont, Furniture Sharehouse fills a need for those working to rebuild their lives. Collaborating with social service agencies such as Westhab, Guidance Center and more, Furniture Sharehouse provides gently used furniture to those in need from Yonkers to Peekskill. While volunteers collect, store and deliver the home goods, the organization relies exclusively on public donations.
"You really don’t know what that end table or chair means to someone else until you donate," said Ruddy. "We get our furniture from people in all walks of life. Some are downsizing, others are updating, parents have kids move out and others are just plain moving." Ruddy asks those considering donating to put themselves in a new apartment owner's shoes. "I tell people to think of a small apartment. What would you want? That’s the kind of stuff we need," she said.
In addition to helping those in need, donating to Furniture Sharehouse also eases the burden on municipalities and the environment. Rather than driving to the dump or waiting for curbside junk disposal, old furniture is recycled for a good cause. Instead of ending up in a landfill, an old couch can become new again, and the center of someone's living room.
Partnering with many Westchester businesses, Furniture Sharehouse works to ensure every house is a home. "Not only do we support the great work of Furniture Sharehouse ourselves, but as realtors working in our local communities, we see that we have a unique opportunity to pass the word along to our clients and many contacts to get them involved too," said Debra Budetti of ERA Insite Realty Services, which aids the charity.
Currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, Furniture Sharehouse is always looking for support, through material or service. “We can use you,” said Ruddy. "If you have time, furniture or any kind of talent, come on down."
Furniture Sharehouse will be hosting its 'Power of 10 Gala' on Friday, Oct. 28th, 6:30 p.m. at the Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club. The evening will feature a silent auction, accessories boutique and showcase designer vignettes featuring donated furniture plus a special vignette of a brand new living room suite donated by W. L. Landau - Ethan Allen. For more information or to buy tickets, click here.