Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 shutdown, Furniture Share is still working to help people in need turn their house into a home. This local nonprofit, serving the greater Willamette Valley for the past 22 years, serves up to 5,000 community members a year while diverting (literally) tons of furniture from local landfills.
In addition to donated furniture, for the past three years Furniture Share has been providing boxes of fresh produce, dairy and other food to needy families. The demand has increased since the onset of the coronavirus crisis, from an average of 170 people per month, to 600 people in April.
One important furniture item this organization is providing during the crisis is mattresses. Some people previously experiencing homelessness have been receiving rehousing assistance, moving out of shelters to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Providing housing is a great thing to do – but it means these folks suddenly need mattresses and beds to sleep in.
Furniture Share has had to lay off all but one employee because of the pandemic. As a result, the organization can no longer pick up donations or deliver furniture to those in need. Often the recipients of donated goods do not have vehicles, making it difficult to transport their new mattress, couch, or dining room table to their residence. At the same time, fundraising and sponsorships for Furniture Share have slowed dramatically, threatening the organization’s continued operations.
Nonetheless, Furniture Share is currently open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, at their location near the Corvallis Municipal Airport. The organization distributes food boxes from 10 AM to noon, then furniture donations are accepted from noon to 5 PM.
Michelle Maddux- Robinson, Furniture Share’s Executive Director, asks that furniture be gently used and free of rips, tears and stains. “Items in highest demand are kitchen items, beds of all sizes, couches, dinner tables and dressers,” according to Ms. Robinson. They also accept household items. People wanting to donate funds or furniture, or in need of furniture or food boxes, are encouraged to contact Furniture Share at 541-754-9511 or find them online at http://furnitureshare.org/.