What makes a place a home? A house, a condo, an apartment, all of these can be homes. What is it that switches a place from just being a structure with walls, floors, windows, doors, and a roof, to being a place with an emotional attachment to it?
Home is where people should feel safe, comfortable. It is a place for dinner around the table, a place for a restful night’s sleep, a place to keep the things that are important to us, a place for families to create memories. Homes become customized to those living in them. The favorite spot on the sofa, the placement of items in and on a dresser, the tables so many memories are created around, all contribute to the comfort of, and attachment to, our homes.
Bergen Volunteers’ Making-It-Home program turns structures into homes by providing the furniture that fills a room with warmth and comfort. Over the past year and a half there has been an influx in the purchase of new furniture, leaving many with gently-used furniture to donate. Making-It-Home has been a grateful beneficiary of this interesting phenomenon. Gently-used furniture from residents in Bergen County has been collected and delivered, free of charge, to individuals and families who are leaving emergency shelters and moving to unfurnished apartments. Clients include veterans, survivors of domestic violence and their children, seniors, people with disabilities, and other homeless, low-income residents. Making-It-Home has enabled them to live in a safe and comfortable environment, improving their quality of life and ability to achieve greater self-sufficiency.
Most donors are motivated by a desire to give to those less fortunate than themselves, and to keep their once beloved items out of landfills. Their generous donations include all the pieces needed to furnish the apartments of 200 clients each year. In an average year, Making-It-Home volunteers spend 1,600 hours collecting nearly 800 pieces of furniture from 150 residents, keeping approximately 42,000 pounds of unwanted items out of our landfills.
To learn more about this unique program, visit www.bergenvolunteers.org/mih