A house is not the same thing as a home. At this very moment, there are many individuals living in North America without furniture. Families and individuals live in empty apartments, echo chambers with nowhere to sit, sleep or eat. These homes are not able to function in the same way as a furnished home is.
The soul of a home is found in the ability to laugh in the family room on the couch or tell bedtime stories to your child on their bed in their bedroom. Memories are made here. When people are unable to afford furniture, these memories are not made in the same way. It makes simple things difficult and a place that should be filled with rest and peace is yet another source of undue hardship.
Unfurnished homes are more common than you think. In the last two years, there has been an increase in the number of people living in poverty in the United States. This could be due to the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation. Cycles of poverty can be crippling, and poverty cycles affect people in more ways than we think. Many of the people who are too poor to afford furniture cannot afford pots and pans either making meals a difficult task. They tend to be either, premade, cold, or bought outside. This can lead to further struggles getting adequate nutrition and living unhealthy lifestyles.
Surveys were conducted by agency case workers in North America on the impact of families who received donated furniture. 83% felt more hope for the future, 78% had improved self-esteem, 72% had improved self-confidence and 72% found that furniture created a sense of family stability.
There are many different organizations that facilitate furnishing homes for families like Furniture Reuse Solutions (FRS), Habitat for Humanity (HFH), and other esteemed non-for-profit organizations. Life for Relief and Development (LIFE) has been working with these organizations to ensure high-quality furniture is delivered to the people who need it the most. LIFE is the leader in shipping major furniture shipments across the country to organizations that then distribute the furniture to families, students, the sick, and those in need.
A young female struggling to make ends meet received furniture and spoke about the effect it has had on her life. She says it changed her life and the donation inspires her to give more to those around her “that’s what we all need, and that’s what love is – giving.”