Once you hear about New Life Furniture Bank, we’re betting you’ll be inspired to volunteer to roll up your sleeves and get involved. Heather Voit, New Life’s marketing and communications director, beams with pride as she shares her compassion for the people they help—and the collective enthusiasm for the incredible work they do. While the main mission of NLFB is to provide gently used furniture to families in need, that’s only part of the story.
Heather explains how founder Holly Young’s chance meeting with a family led her to start the organization in 2009. “Holly noticed a mom and her children looking through a dumpster—and found out they were there searching for something to sleep on. Holly had been volunteering with an organization that connected homeless people to housing resources … meeting this family made her realize there was a piece of the puzzle that was missing. People who get help with housing often live in those spaces without furniture, which leads to desperate acts like searching the trash for a mattress.”
Such circumstances can lead to bigger issues, too, Heather points out. “When people are left to make a bed out of blankets on the floor, or eat dinner on the floor, it takes away their dignity. Many stop caring about their space, stop paying rent, and end up back in a shelter. With furniture, people are much more likely to stay out of homelessness.” You read that right–simply having furniture can increase their chance of success.
Holly collected items for the mom and children she found searching the dumpster, and was able to get enough to fully furnish their apartment. She continued repeating the process, and slowly but surely, New Life Furniture Bank grew into what it is today. The nonprofit now helps families in dire circumstances by furnishing empty houses so they can feel more like a home. Last year, they served almost 1400 households.
“We deliver and set up an entire household of furnishings and essentials like fresh linens, dishes, pots and pans,” Heather explains about part of their work. “We start by asking each client what they need. And because we now partner with interior designers through our Design With a Heart program, we also get to ask about their design and decor preferences as well. Normally, no one’s ever asked what they want or like beforehand. We do our best to meet requests, and somehow, we’re able to give many clients just what they’d hoped for.”
She goes on, emphasizing, “Watch the stories on our website—especially the video that shows the move-in process. You get to see a family coming in for the reveal. What you don’t see is that one little boy’s bed was delayed, and I had to break the news to him that his bed wasn’t available yet—but his only concern was if his sister had a bed.”
Even more impressive? The Furniture Bank can now help even more people as it continues to grow and thrive, especially with the organization’s most recent addition. “New Life Furniture Thrift Store is now open in Sharonville!” Heather shares, excited. “All of the sales fund our mission, plus it allows us to accept more donations, even clothing and large appliances. In the past, we’ve had to say no to certain things like large sectional sofas and china cabinets. Now, we can fill the store with donations, and people in the community can find affordable items for their homes.”
Shopping at the new thrift store is just one way you can support NLFB—there are so many interesting ways to help, even for older kids and teens. Volunteering is easy, but does need to be pre-scheduled for logistics purposes.
It can’t be stressed enough, donating furniture is easy—one call, a gas contribution, and New Life comes to you to pick up that couch, bed, table or chairs. Best of all, you know it’s going directly toward a family in need, rather than getting lost in any donation-sorting shuffle. Whether you donate, volunteer or shop … you’ll be helping an amazing organization, while helping make someone’s home—someone’s life—better.
HOW TO DO MORE
Always appreciated and needed! Go to “Donate Funds” on the website.
Residential and Commercial Furniture Donation Pickup
Review “Donation Pickup”—core furniture items (most needed) get priority for pickup, including clean/gently-used mattresses/box springs, sofas/loveseats, living room chairs/recliners, dressers, and kitchen/dining tables/chairs. Other items may need to be dropped off.
Furniture and Household Item Donations Drop-off
Items accepted at the warehouse or thrift store. See “Donate Furniture” for details.
Warehouse, 11335 Reed Hartman Hwy, Suite 134, Blue Ash
Volunteers pack household items, and may prepare items for delivery.
Thrift Store, 12037 Lebanon Rd, Sharonville
Help sort and prepare donated items for sale. May include moving inventory, setting up displays, assembling furniture, and pricing merchandise.
Participate in table builds, no woodworking experience needed! The Cincinnati Woodworkers Club does the hard work, you get to assemble and paint.
Design with a Heart
Perfect for those with interior design skills.
Help the crew deliver furniture and household goods to a home—and see the direct impact firsthand.
When people are left to make a bed out of blankets on the floor, eat dinner on the floor ... many stop caring, stop paying rent, and end up back in a shelter. With furniture, people are much more likely to stay out of homelessness.