New Life Furniture Bank of Massachusetts | Jocelyn Sage Mitchell
One thing that has been a real blessing during this time of transition for our family is the opportunity to appreciate what we have—and what we can give to others. It felt good to find usable items and give them away to people who could use these items! Here's how you can donate to a furniture bank, such as New Life Furniture Bank of Massachusetts, to help those in need. By Jocelyn Mitchell
Jocelyn Sage Mitchell
One thing that has been a real blessing during this time of transition for our family is the opportunity to appreciate what we have—and what we can give to others. In preparation for our move, we opened every drawer, closet, and box, finding a few “lost treasures” in the process but also an awful lot of stuff we hadn’t used and didn’t need. It felt good to find usable items and say “thank you and goodbye” to them, Marie Kondo–style, and especially good to give them away to people in need who could use these items! This process of being mindful of what we have (and what we can share) continues in our new home, with the help of donation centers like the New Life Furniture Bank of Massachusetts.
While most donation centers take small household goods (like kitchen electronics and dishware), big items like mattresses and box springs are often not accepted. Adding to the problem is that even a spacious minivan can’t transport mattresses and box springs to a donation center. So what to do with mattresses and box springs in good condition, which could be used by others? Luckily there are donation centers that do take these big items. We found the New Life Furniture Bank of Massachusetts with a Google search, and were happy to find out that we could even schedule a truck pick-up for a nominal fee (which goes toward supporting the charity). Our two volunteer drivers were timely, pleasant, and skilled, taking our box spring, rug, and several boxes of household goods with a smile!
The New Life Furniture Bank of Massachusetts is different than a thrift store organization. A thrift store resells donated items at small fees for those who can afford to pay. But what about people who need to start anew without much (or any) money? What about people who need an entire houseful of furniture, such as people recovering from a fire, transitioning out of homelessness, or escaping a domestic abuse situation? Furniture banks like New Life are one of the solutions available for people in these types of difficult situations. (Military veterans and refugees are also eligible for this type of support!) All a person needs is a referral from an agency, a place of worship, or a medical facility to begin receiving assistance.
What I find especially impressive about the New Life Furniture Bank is how it was created in 2013 by two people, Ron Yates and Doug Marshall, who saw a need in their community and put in the time and effort to fill the gap. If not for this organization, many large pieces of furniture would go to waste rather than be “free-cycled” back into the community to those who need them. (Organizations like FreeCycle.org are amazing, but do require internet connections and transport to pick up the goods!)
Donors can drop off goods in person or arrange for a truck pick-up. You can also support New Life Furniture Bank remotely, such as buying items from their Amazon wish list! And of course, you can volunteer your time to help those in need, either in-person or on your computer at home. There are lots of ways you can be part of the support network that people need to start their lives anew!
Thank you, New Life Furniture Bank of Massachusetts, for making the world a better place!
Originally published at Jocelyn Mitchell’s blog on August 23, 2022.
Jocelyn Sage Mitchell
Jocelyn Sage Mitchell is a political researcher, public speaker, educator, and author. Jocelyn loves collaboration and team projects that solve real-world problems! Her work focuses on hearing the voices of individuals and understanding how people engage with one another as well as their governments to have their voices heard and their needs met. Jocelyn's interests include cooking, meditation, mixology, and volunteering in her community.