Every year, United Way Ottawa presents the Belonging to the Community Awards to organizations and volunteers who have made Ottawa a better place to live through the incredible work that they do. This year, Nathalie Maione and her organization Helping With Furniture have joined the ranks of the award winners. Helping With Furniture’s name will now be inscribed on the Wall of Inspiration, a monument to people and organizations who have positively impacted Ottawa, located in city hall. Volunteer Ottawa would like to congratulate Nathalie and Helping With Furniture on their well deserved success by highlighting the fantastic work done by HWF in the community.
Helping With Furniture is dedicated to furnishing the homes of recent refugees who do not have many possessions. Often these refugees have managed to escape from life-threatening situations at the cost losing all that they own. It is common for mattresses and a few chairs to be all that adorn their rooms. HWF provides a full service; they collect the furniture from donors, deliver it to the new address, and set up the furniture in an aesthetically pleasing manner. If possible, the colours of the furniture are matched. Now for the really impressive part: all of this work is done in a single night! This regular Wednesday night miracle of organization is made possible through Nathalie’s hard work, as well as through the contributions of scores of volunteers. Many of the volunteers were recipients of Helping With Furniture’s aid themselves, and now want to give back to the community, others are people who came out to volunteer once and enjoyed it so much they kept coming back.
Helping With Furniture was started in 2005 by Nathalie Maione and Buffy Cassidy when they managed to furnish the home of a family of four from Mexico. Starting with only a van, the organization has since managed to acquire the use of a five ton truck, and has gone on to help over 640 families in Ottawa.
Want to get involved? Helping With Furniture needs donors of gently used furniture and volunteers. There is a large variety of volunteer positions available including movers, volunteer coordinator team members, drivers, drop off volunteers, donor contacts and data bank organizers. This is a great way to get out and help people in your community!
Take a look at the video below from the Helping With Furniture fundraising gala to find out more about this wonderful organization.