GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina nonprofit is raising money to help those who are in furniture poverty.
The Barnabas Network gives out gently used furniture to those in need, helping people who are transitioning out of homelessness, overcoming a major obstacle, fleeing abuse or violence or trying to climb out poverty.
Monique Washington says this organization helped take a burden off her shoulders as she is trying to overcome obstacles and provide for her family.
“You know, needed furniture for me and the kids to feel comfortable to make our house feel like a home,” Washington said.
Washington and her five children were living inside a hotel for two months before getting help to move into her new home. That home was furnished just five days ago.
“The people were friendly, no judgment, didn’t feel like, ‘oh, you just coming in for assistance.’ You know, just it was just a warm welcoming,” Washington said.
Washington was able to furnish every part of her home, getting gently used beds for her kids and herself, a couch and dresser.
“We would do an air mattress, and sit and put something down on the floor to eat, where we ate on, and all the kids, even though they had their own air mattress, they of course, they wanted to come in my room or sleep in my room,” she said.
The furniture is recycled from community members who no longer need it.
“They took a big burden off me, because I really didn’t have the finances to be able to furnish everything at one time,” Washington said.
Currently the network is in the middle of its first big fundraiser of the year, an online furniture auction looking to raise $100,000.
Judy Caldwell, marketing director of Barnabas Network, says they have more than 800 pieces being auctioned and that will help them to go out and collect more than 8,000 pieces for families who need it.
“Really, at the end of the day, the proceeds from this auction mean a couple of things. They mean that folks are getting amazing treasures for their own home at a great deal. And it means also that families here in the Triad are going to have a place to sit, a place to eat and a place to sleep,” Caldwell said.
Just like for Washington and her family, she says the network gave her a sense of pride and a feeling of being able to provide for her children.
“I finally can be at peace, for them to be comfortable, you know, in an environment where they could be comfortable, feel safe at home and have a good night’s rest. You know, clean, healthy environment,” Washington said.
Through Saturday, in-person browsing of the auction collection is happening at 3703 Farmington Dr. in Greensboro. The auction of designer pieces of furniture is live until 8 p.m. Saturday.