Welcome to our new FBA website!

The Furniture Bank Association of North America is pleased to unveil its new website, geared to increase awareness of furniture banks and their missions and to provide useful collaboration and best practices information for furniture bank organizations.

Furniture Bank in Canada Workshop Program in Full Swing!

We’ve had a dream for a while. That dream was an onsite furniture repair workshop to fix slightly damaged furniture to divert even more items from the landfill and put them back into our donation stream. On top of that, the people who will be doing the furniture repair would be individuals with barriers to employment gaining valuable work experience under the guidance of qualified instructors. Now thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Mackenzie Investments and individual donors, that dream is now a reality!

Furniture Bank Workshop Program

Working in collaboration with Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, we’re providing a hands-on opportunity for students of their Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship program to get hands-on experience putting what they learned in the classroom into action.

Here’s how it works. For an 8 week practicum, participants are working hard in our workshop salvaging furniture items that would otherwise end up in the landfill. This is allowing us to put more furniture items into our donation stream for clients to choose from, and at the same time improve the environmental footprint here in the GTA.

In the first month alone, our students have helped us salvage 100+ furniture pieces that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

What Next?

As a final project, the students will be working together to recreate a 1 of a kind table and rocking chair combo for our Chair Affair event. Chair Affair is our annual auction based gala and fundraiser where we reimagine, redesign and repurpose old furniture for auction. Stay tuned for photos of their progress!

Click here to learn more about our workshop program

Conference 2014 – Tacoma WA – Sept 10-11

FBANA Conference 2014 – Sept 10-11, Tacoma WA

Mark your calendars! The next Furniture Bank Association Conference will be hosted by the NW Furniture Bank in Tacoma, WA (near Seattle) on September 10-11, 2014 (Wed-Thur).

Now is the time to seek funding (grants or other) or get funding approval to cover the cost of airfare and lodging. We sincerely hope you can join us!

Click here to download the 2014 FBANA Conference Invitation in a PDF file. The invitation shows the details of the topics to be presented and discussed this year, and the networking opportunities and site-seeing that are also included.

 

FBANA Conference 2013 – Columbus OH, Apr 18-19

Twenty-six furniture banks from the U.S. and Canada sent executive directors, board members and volunteers to Columbus, Ohio on April 18-19 for the 2013 Furniture Banks Conference. Sixteen U.S. states and two Canadian provinces were represented, and attendees shared best practices, felt the energetic spirit, shared comaradery, and then returned to their own organizations with new ideas and renewed commitment to serve.
For those that were not able to join us, you can find PDFs of all the topics presented and explored in the “Library of Resources” for members. And below are just a few pictures that capture some key moments.
Stay tuned to this website for an upcoming announcement of the location and dates for FBANA Conference 2014!

FBANA Conference 2013 – changed to April 18-19

In order to take advantage of better hotel availability and rates, our 2013 Furniture Banks Conference has been moved to April 18-19 (Thurs-Fri). This will also insure milder, more spring-like weather for traveling. (The dates originally posted were March 7-8.)

We hope you’ll mark your calendar and plan to attend!

Furniture Banks Conference 2013 – April 18-19

UPDATED! Mark your calendars! The next Furniture Bank Association Conference will be April 18-19, 2013 (Thur-Fri), in Columbus, OH. The Furniture Bank of Central Ohio will be the host for next spring’s conference.
Some members had indicated at the November 2011 conference a desire to seek grant funding to cover the cost of airfare and lodging. We hope this early notice will provide you enough time to seek funding so that you can join us!
Information on hotel lodging and airfare recommendations will be coming soon.

 


(Pictures from the Nov 2011 Conference in Minneapolis, MN)

“Furniture Bank Association” announcement

It’s hard to believe that three months have passed since many of us gathered in Minneapolis. It was a great exchange of best practices and common barriers, and it demonstrated the tremendous potential of furniture banks coming together to share information.
It is in this spirit that we are excited to announce that we’re advancing the organization to form the “Furniture Bank Association of North America” (FBANA), or in daily usage simply the “Furniture Bank Association.” While our mission remains the same, the new organization will encourage more frequent communication among members, will expand the resources and best practices information available, and takes on a name that clearly defines our service area and allows us to better engage our neighbors in Canada, demonstrating that the scope of our mission and vision extend beyond the borders of a single country.
We will continue to focus on building the capacity and capability of furniture banks to serve their communities, and encourage and guide more cities to establish furniture banks for the benefit of their residents and their environment. We will also look to connect regional- or national- scope furniture donors and cross-border donors with all member furniture banks in the U.S. and Canada that they have the potential to benefit.
We hope you’ve got your calendar marked for our next conference, which is scheduled for March 2013 in Columbus, Ohio and will be hosted by the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio in Columbus, Ohio.
Please do not hesitate to contact the Furniture Bank Association if we can be of any assistance to your organization. We all run into situations that are unique. Please know that the members of the leadership team are more than happy to listen, guide and help to the best of our abilities. You can reach us toll-free at 1-800-373-2835 (currently answered by the staff of the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio), or on the internet at  www.furniturebanks.org  or at  www.fbana.org.
We look forward to working with you in the coming months and years … so that no child or adult will have to sleep on the floor.

Hotel Renovation Benefits Richmond VA Families

The CARITAS Furniture Bank has been all hustle and bustle this new year, collaborating with community partners to ensure the efficient and organized arrival of its largest donation to date, the entire contents of the former Ramada Hotel in Henrico. The 375 rooms worth of inventory are expected to serve about 450 families over six months. Details of Genworth Financial’s gracious donation made its debut in the local news this Valentine’s Day, but the heart of this story, the lives this donation is changing, continues to unfold.
“You’ve got to hear this,” Spencer Slater, a CARITAS employee and alumni of The Healing Place, exclaimed as he rolled into his coworker’s office. “This client came through the Furniture Bank this morning and called back this afternoon to thank us.” All we could hear through the phone were her outbursts of “thank you’s” between her sobs of tears; this was a woman humbled beyond words. Another client shared that her family had been sleeping on palettes before visiting the Furniture Bank and taking home new beds for her children. She, too, was overwhelmed with thanks for the bounty she received.
Up to 20 families each week have benefited from the quality mattresses, dressers, chairs, lamps, linens, towels and other household items that now demand the space of our large warehouse. But just as each item must be packaged and loaded up on a truck to head to its new home, so did it once move from the old Ramada to the Furniture Bank. It was the hard work of many hands and able bodies that came together to deliver the donation here in the first place.
The CARITAS Furniture Bank’s own team of staff, AmeriCorps members and volunteers expanded this winter when Director Karen O’Brien saw this large-scale donation as an opportunity to create transitional employment for CARITAS Works graduates and clients of The Healing Place. In addition to maintaining the usual fast-pace operations at the Furniture Bank, this special projects team partnered with Genworth, the Ramada hotel staff, Hilldrup Moving and Storage Company, Winns Hauling, and Estes Trucking to manage the logistics of organizing and transporting the 300 tons of inventory.
It was this unique donation that called for such a diverse breadth of teamwork, but it was the spirit of servant-leadership, central to CARITAS’ values, that made this undertaking such a multi-faceted success. Moving forward, Genworth’s own employees have committed to volunteering their afternoons to sorting through and preparing the donations for our client area. Other local agencies and individual volunteers are likewise taking this opportunity to get involved. From the men who were given transitional employment and new work skills to enhance their resumes, to the regular volunteers who discovered their strength while lifting and loading the incoming donations, to the group of retired friends who come each Thursday to utilize their restoration skills in our woodshop, and the stream of households affected by their dedication, new life is found in old objects after all.

Scouts Make Tables for Furniture Bank in Michigan

A group of Boy Scouts gave “the gift of home” to some struggling families in Pontiac MI recently, by partnering with the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan to build some kitchen tables. Using a table design initiated by the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio in Columbus OH, the scouts were able to produce about 20 kitchen tables with the guidance of their adult moderators. This project proved not only beneficial to families in need, but was also great training and experience in giving back in the community.