The Senior Services staff recently visited The Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan, located in Pontiac. For the last 45 years, this organization has provided gently used beds and other essential furniture to children and their families in need. They work with families living in poverty, transitioning from homelessness, working with child protective service or fleeing crisis situations.
As we toured the facility, it was evident the people working there were passionate about what they did as they showed us around. Last year they assisted over 1,454 families, and 29 of those families were from Auburn Hills. Families received items ranging from beds, mattresses, dressers, dining room tables, to couches and linens. They also shared with us that they do not give out cribs, but do provide Pak’ n ’Plays as a substitute for a crib. Last year they gave out 54 Pak’ n Plays, ensuring babies had a safe place to sleep.
Individuals and families must be referred by a social service agency, a church, Child Protective Services, or the Department of Human Services. There is a modest Appointment Charge that clients pay in order to receive the furniture.
When I asked what their greatest need(s) were, Program Coordinator Amy Fulbright and Program Associate Nancy Knop both said twin sets (box and mattress), dining tables and chairs, linens, silverware and pots and pans. There are more than 70 clients on a wait list alone for the beds and dining room tables and chairs. Ms. Fulbright said it is like having peanut butter and no jelly, referring to having an assortment of dining tables but no chairs or vice versa.
As spring cleaning season begins, I encourage you to consider donating your gently used furniture and household items to the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Your bed donation could be the first “real” bed a child sleeps on or that table and chairs may the first time a family can all sit down together for a meal.
To help out The Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan, we are going to host a Bedding Drive, April 18-29. You can donate new or gently used bed sheets (all sizes), pillow cases, blankets, mattress pads and blankets. All we ask is that your donation is clean, free from tears, stains and is marked as to the size. Donations can be dropped off at the Community Center during our normal business hours.
For other donations, you can contact the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan at 248-332-1300. They do offer free pick up service for most items.
Karen Adcock, Director of Senior Services