Angie, a 32 year-old mother of three sons ranging from 13 to 2 came to CFB for service recently. Sitting across from me she said, “Well I have heard of Christmas in July…but now let’s hear it for Christmas in April.” With tears in her eyes she said that when the delivery truck from CFB arrives to her new home and delivers furniture she is going to set it all up so that when her 3 boys come home, to their new home…it will be like Christmas at last. Angie knows that having a comfortable place to live is the foundation that allows kids to do well in school, and for her to do well as a parent. Receiving furniture from CFB is a pivotal step in Angie’s dream of creating a home where her sons will now feel safe and secure. As Angie got ready to depart she turned to me and asked that I make sure I add these words to pass along to others. That there are good people in this world, as is evident with the Cleveland Furniture Bank, and to remember though it is a struggle and life is full of ups and downs continue to remain strong and never lose hope or give up, because who knows Christmas could always arrive in April.
Through the CFB efficient model of receiving bulk furniture donations, they are able to continue to serve referred clients from the partner agencies. A family of four can furnish their apartment to fulfill basic needs – a sofa, dining room table with chairs, beds, dressers and lighting – for less than $120. This also diverts tons of furniture that would otherwise be put into landfills making us a green initiative.
Imagine if you will this Memorial Day the story of Larry Avery who at the age of 73 finally has a place to call home. Larry is all alone and he is a veteran from the Viet Nam war where he served time in the Air Force as an engineer. For years Larry had been living in apartments that already had furniture in them. He never felt like he had a home to call his own…because he did not choose what was already provided for him. “Not being able to make my own choices…well…it never felt quite right, you know”? “BUT now…with my visit to the CFB today I got to choose all my own furniture!” Larry continued saying, “imagine this coming in time for the upcoming Memorial weekend, what a gift for this veteran as I will have the distinct honor to walk through my door of my apartment in the Senior Citizen facility and I will see my sofa, my chairs, my end tables, my lamp and … my very own bed that I picked out for myself”. He also said with a glee in his eye….”your furniture is so much better than what I had before, now I feel respect and have my dignity back…thank you CFB”.
President John F. Kennedy once said on Veterans Day, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that our highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”