Photo Credit: Jonathan Kho via Unsplash

 

The Niagara Furniture Bank piloted two new initiatives last week. These initiatives launched with the goal of providing 30 families in the community with complete furnishing and houseware, as well as beds to sleep on.

 

Niagara Furniture Bank is a non-profit charitable organization that collects gently used furnishings and houseware essentials from private homes and businesses.

 

The organization provides these items to individuals and families who are referred by Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Programs, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Public Health, Family and Children’s Services, YWCA and other shelters and transitional housing referral partners. They also offer an internal referral program to aid those who are not accounted for by their community partners.

 

Back in December, realtor Tim Salisbury donated to help cover the furniture bank’s operational costs, allowing them to deliver clean beds to more than 100 low-income seniors that had been sleeping on the floor due to a bug infestation. On Friday March 12, Irena Bell, another Niagara realtor, followed Salisbury’s lead and donated 30 mattresses secured from The Brick to the Niagara Furniture Bank. These mattresses went out to those in need within the community, providing them a good night’s sleep. 

 

It was these donations that sparked the idea for the organization to launch their first annual ‘Be a Hero’ campaign. Through this campaign, the organization seeks to acknowledge community members who are without beds and fundraise on their behalf. Members of the community are able to join the initiative by way of monetary donation.

 

In recognition of World Sleep Day on March 19, the Niagara Furniture Bank also launched another community initiative to generate awareness and operational funding. This initiative, called the ‘Sleep for Equality 2021’ campaign, will include an informational segment for participants and a fundraising segment for community members in need. All individuals who register for this campaign will be provided with resources to educate themselves on the need for quality sleep, which is hoped to encourage residents to maintain good sleep practices in honor of those who cannot.

 

Registration for the event is set to open this week, though a cost has not yet been announced. The funds generated from registration will go directly toward delivering beds to those in need across the Niagara Region.

 

“Inspired by what Tim Salisbury did for our organization back in December 2020, we love what Irena Bell did and would like to see more community champions do the same. We are looking for heroes in the community that are willing to put their capes on and help us get these individuals beds to sleep on,” said Matt Cuthbert, Executive Director of the Niagara Furniture Bank. “We’re hoping to make this a fun annual event, so let’s sleep [well] and raise funds for those who can’t.”

 

The Niagara Furniture Bank is encouraging community members to look out for this event and register themselves, their family and friends if possible.

 

Individuals who are interested in learning more about the Niagara Furniture Bank and registering for the ‘Sleep for Equality’ campaign are encouraged to visit www.niagarafurniturebank.com. To donate to the ‘Be a Hero’ campaign visit www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/NiagaraFurnitureBank/campaign.