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Furniture Sharehouse Celebrates 10 Years of Furnishing Families

For 10 years, Furniture Sharehouse, Westchester's Furniture Bank, has been providing free furniture directly to Westchester residents in need. A reception with warehouse tour will be held at the Sharehouse on April 25th.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - April 24, 2017 - EntSun -- Furniture Sharehouse is marking its 10th year of providing furniture to Westchester families in need with its "Power of Ten" Anniversary Reception to be held at the County Airport on April 25th. The event starts at 9:30 am with light refreshments and informal warehouse tours conducted by Furniture Sharehouse board members and volunteers. The warehouse is located at Westchester County Airport on Loop Road Building #3 in White Plains, New York.

The Reception will be attended by County Executive Rob Astorino, as well as other County and State officials. The event will feature a special "Make a House a Home" vignette, selected and staged by volunteers, which will display the array of furniture items received by a typical client household.

Caption: "Make a House a Home" Vignette | Photo Credit: Furniture Sharehouse

The reception will also highlight several exciting "Community Collaborations", including: a gift of homemade quilts from Scarsdale's Village Square Quilters to provide new beds and quilts to single moms and children; "Focal Point", a project by photography students from Rye Country Day School to print and frame a collection of 30-40 of their favorite photos as gifts to Furniture Sharehouse clients; and a furniture project from Maker's Space, a student workshop planned for Mamaroneck High School, which will include a prototype kitchen table designed by architect Liam Winters.

Also attending the celebration will be senior representatives from the over 30 member agencies that refer their clients to Furniture Sharehouse each week, including Westhab, White Plains Housing Authority, My Sister's Place, The Sharing Community, Human Development Services of Westchester and other, as well as major benefactors.

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Clients are referred by a network of over 30 member agencies and include:
§  Those moving out of homeless shelters into permanent housing
§  Women and children escaping domestic violence
§  Working families struggling to stay above the poverty line
§  Young adults aging out of foster care
§  Grandparents assuming care for their grandchildren
§  Single mothers, Veterans, and the elderly
§  Victims of fires or other natural disasters

Over the last 10 years, Furniture Sharehouse has helped 11,208 individuals -- half of whom are children. In the 10th wealthiest county of the United States1, 10% of Westchester residents are living in poverty2; 1,797 are homeless on any given night3, and 2,678 school-aged children have experienced homelessness4. Lack of furniture is a hidden need in Westchester. Once a person gets housing, they move into an empty apartment. That's where Furniture Sharehouse comes in. Furniture Sharehouse is the only organization in Westchester that addresses the "hidden need" of people living in empty apartments because they cannot afford a bed to sleep in, a table to share a meal, or a dresser to store clothes.

"Ten years ago, we opened our doors just in time to help dozens of local families devastated by the 2007 spring floods," says Kate Bialo, Executive Director. "Since then, we have distributed over 61,000 items of furniture to more than 11,280 people in need, providing them with the basic furnishings they need to live in comfort and dignity. We are excited to have the opportunity to celebrate with and thank the County of Westchester, our Member Agencies, our community partners and our major donors for making it possible for us to celebrate this milestone," added Bialo.

Furniture Sharehouse was founded in 2006 through the efforts of Kate Bialo and The Junior League of Westchester on the Sound (JLWOS) which provided seed money. With a matching HUD grant from Westchester County, warehouse space was secured at the Westchester County Airport in White Plains and operations commenced in April 2007. Through her work as Past President and Community Grants Coordinator for JLWOS, Ms. Bialo learned of the social service community's frustration at having furniture that their clients desperately needed slip through their fingers because no one had space to store it temporarily. This led to the idea of setting up a "shared warehouse" where donations could be collected and redistributed to agency clients as needed.

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Furniture Sharehouse helps over 450 Westchester families and individuals each year by collecting gently-used furniture from the community and redistributing it directly to help those in need fill their empty apartments and rebuild their lives.   For information on their donation guidelines and pick-up/drop-off procedures, go to www.furnituresharehouse.org.


About Furniture Sharehouse
Furniture Sharehouse, Westchester County's Furniture Bank, provides furniture free-of-charge to economically disadvantaged individuals and families living in New York's Westchester County, giving them the basic household furnishings that enable them to rebuild their lives with dignity. Furniture Sharehouse is a New York State Not-for-Profit corporation and is tax exempt under IRS Section 501(c)(3). Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. For more information, please visit www.furnituresharehouse.org.

Furniture Sharehouse will be marking its 10th year of providing furniture to Westchester families in need with a "Power of Ten" Anniversary Reception at the County Airport. In attendance will be County Executive Rob Astorino, other County and State officials, senior representatives from the 30+ member agencies that refer their clients to Furniture Sharehouse each week, including Westhab, the White Plains Housing Authority, My Sister's Place, etc. as well as major benefactors. In addition to the remarks, there will be an informal tour where attendees can view a sample vignette of a typical furniture bundle that clients receive. The reception will feature community partner collaborations with Rye Country Day School, Scarsdale's Village Square Quilters, and Maker's Space, a student workshop planned for Mamaroneck High School.

1. Wealthiest counties: http://time.com/money/3014512/richest-wealthiest-highest-income-counties-america-united-states/
2. Per U.S. Census Bureau
3. NYS SIRS Reporting Data 2014-2015
4. Per HUD 2015

Laura Ruddy
Furniture Sharehuose

Source: Furniture Sharehouse

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