Oct 8, 2018

How Furniture Banks Support Students in Need

Child with Furniture on Truck
Child with Furniture on Truck

What do we imagine when we think of children getting ready for school on an autumn morning? Kids may cringe at the sound of the alarm clock, or perhaps leap up from bed with excitement, assailing their dresser for the perfect outfit. Big yellow busses roll along residential streets, stopping for passengers great and small, with backpacks in tow. Out at the schoolyard, awaiting the bell, children laugh and run as rust and honey colored leaves fall. The back-to-school novelty has faded into routine, and students begin to count the days until Thanksgiving, and then winter break.

But what if that wake-up alarm never goes off? Or there is no bed to leap out of? Imagine a child is sleeping on the floor, or on a relative’s couch while their family searches for stable housing after receiving a no-cause eviction. Is that child getting the rest they need to be alert and learning? Would they be excited to show off their clothes, if they were wrinkled with no dresser to hold them? For some children, a big Thanksgiving dinner or holiday gifts are far from certainties.

As of November 1, Community Warehouse has served over 2,830 children that did not have access to basic household goods. When a family is faced with a lack of resources or stability at home, a child is potentially at risk for compromised academic success and healthy social development. For the student who experiences a period of difficult transition, one that may have included time spent in homelessness or insecure home environments, academic and social life can be daunting in ways that might not challenge more privileged students. Instability affects every aspect of a child’s development, from grades to self-esteem in their peer group to physical health. Instability, as defined by The Urban Institute* is the experience of abrupt, involuntary, and/or negative change in individual or family circumstances.

This lack of resources, such as food security or affordable access to healthcare, creates higher levels of diagnosed anxiety among low-income parents which can be passed on to their children, manifesting in social anxiety and poor academic performance. Studies tracking student progress through the 8th grade also saw a rise in behavioral issues among those who were experiencing familial transition via causes like divorce and housing transitions.

When a family visits Community Warehouse or a furniture bank in their local community, they are looking for some of the pieces that contribute to a stable home. Through donations of gently used household goods, furniture banks can play a powerful role in helping to create a solid foundation for students to excel and grow among their peers. With a warm bed, a child is far more likely to get sufficient sleep so they can focus in class. With a desk and a lamp, a child has a\\ place to do homework and study. Or, maybe they work on homework at the dinner table, troubleshooting a tough equation with older siblings; asking mom or dad for help reviewing state capitals. With these same household goods, parents can also get a good night’s rest, make toast in the morning, and have a space to work on a resume or study for class themselves, as they build pathways for their future.

So, imagine again a child’s typical school-day morning, drowsy and full of hopes and fears. The leaves on the trees in the schoolyard have turned. Kids play soccer beneath wandering clouds of their own breath on the cool air. Now, imagine what a difference the donation of a twin bed, a dresser, a small desk or even a toaster can make to that child’s experience of the second, or eleventh grade. It’s not the whole puzzle, but your donations really can have an impact on that child’s experience….of their first day of school, their first school play, or maybe even their first straight A report card waiting for mom and dad on the kitchen table.

*From The Urban Institute’s report: The Negative Effects of Instability on Child Development.

Jul 11, 2018

Meet Maia

Empty Room
Empty Room

Maia is one of 2,600 homeless children in Oregon. After long months in a family shelter, Maia’s mom received assistance to move into a new apartment.

After months in a shelter, Maia finally had a room of her own again... an empty room.

“Where will I sleep?" Maia asked her mom. "We don’t have a bed."

Maia carefully wrote a "House list" of all the things she wanted for her new room. Her family came to Community Warehouse and found everything on her list. The friendly drivers from Community Warehouse carefully loaded all of Maia's family's furnishings into the truck and delivered them to their new home.

Every day, your support turns empty houses into comfortable homes for families like Maia’s. We believe home is at the center of everyone’s well-being, and are committed to bringing this comfort and dignity to every neighbor in need. 

Together, we filled Maia's room with comfort, joy, and hope. Thank you for helping kids get off the floor.

Picking a dresser
Picking a dresser
Maia's list
Maia's list
Maia's room
Maia's room

Links:

Apr 16, 2018

"I can't stop grinning..."

Warehouse staff deliver beds for Ramona's family
Warehouse staff deliver beds for Ramona's family

“I can’t stop grinning,” says Ramona, who came to Community Warehouse in search of a bed. Thanks to a generous donation from our partners at Mattress Lot and Parklane Mattresses, a beautiful luxury mattress was waiting for her.

Ramona struggled to recover from back surgery after a car accident left her unable to walk three years ago. Though she recovered the ability to walk, her injuries meant she couldn’t work – or afford rent. Her family became homeless and Ramona slept on uncomfortable cots and couches that didn’t provide any relief for her chronic pain. A firm, comfortable, quality mattress was essential for Ramona’s continued recovery and improved quality of life.

Support from donors like you and partnerships with local businesses and individual donations are what make it possible for Community Warehouse to connect those in need with quality donations. Local retailers Mattress Lot and Parklane Mattresses have provided Community Warehouse with countless clean mattresses that fly out the door just as soon as they come in.

“We love the fact that Community Warehouse offers tangible and direct help to families in crisis and need. This is not abstract,” say Mattress Lot founders Mary Ruth and Michael Hanna. “We’re super grateful that Community Warehouse makes it easy for companies to play a small role in helping people in need or crisis. Community Warehouse is a conduit between businesses that want to do the right thing, by giving donations and supporting families in need in our community.”

Now, with the help of a local housing assistance program, Ramona and her family have settled into a new home with furnishings from Community Warehouse. “I’m very happy to have a comfortable bed to sleep on,” says Ramona. “I love that Community Warehouse is here for us. Thank you so much for the help.”

Whether gently-used or brand-new, beds are the foundation of waking up to a brighter day. Your donations make a direct impact in the lives and homes of our neighbors in need.

Warehouse client Ramona on her brand-new bed!
Warehouse client Ramona on her brand-new bed!
 
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