Holly Hollenshead, Vice President of Operations for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Bassett Furniture Direct, Mary Frye, President of Home Furnishings International Association, and Christy Hodges, Membership Director of HFIA, visited the Dallas Furniture Bank to gain a greater understanding of how furniture banks work with businesses to assist families in need. Meeting with Tina Morris, Executive Director of the facility, allowed Hollenshead, Frye and Hodges to see firsthand how such operations impact the lives of those in need of a helping hand.
The Dallas Furniture Bank accepts gently used furniture and then sells those pieces at nominal prices to individuals and families referred to the bank by charitable organizations. Their prices are low enough for someone to furnish a home for approximately $150 to $200. “Allowing clients to purchase their furniture helps them understand responsibility for their own self-sufficiency process as well as instilling principles for functioning in a real-life situation,” explains Morris.
The Furniture Bank provides comfortable, fashionable pieces for the home, stressing that even when people are in need of assistance, their dignity must be respected and preserved. “Clients don’t need to be pushed further down,” says Frye, who is also a member of the Board of the National Furniture Bank Association. “They need to be lifted up.” She adds that support of furniture banks is an efficient and effective manner of matching needs and resources.
Home furnishings retailers can make a dramatic impact on local furniture banks because they have access not only to new furniture, but also to consumers who are replacing their old pieces. “Retailers often find themselves with discontinued or returned furniture and supporting a furniture bank like this allows us to help the people who really need it,” states Hollenshead. In addition, retailers can provide valuable information on furniture repair and touch-up, warehousing and delivery.
“Often, people and businesses want to help their communities and supporting your local furniture bank is a logical way for home furnishings retailers to make a real difference,” says Frye. To find out how you can get involved, visit the HFIA website at www.hfia.com or call (800) 942-4663 or visit the National Furniture Bank Association website at www.help1up.org.
About the Home Furnishings International Association (HFIA)
Home Furnishings International Association, the choice and voice of independent-thinking home furnishings professionals, offers business tools to members so they can operate more profitably. Businesses that belong to this trade organization receive benefits designed especially for them. These benefits save money, streamline operations, and enable members to serve their customers better by staying better informed about the industry. For more information, visit www.hfia.com.
About the National Furniture Bank Association (NFBA)
The NFBA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Their mission is to create comfortable home environments by providing basic furnishings to those in need. No child in America should have to sleep on the floor. Visit http://www.help1up.org/retailer_info to learn more about becoming a participating Help1Up retailer.
Home Furnishings International Association
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