Our series on strategic partnerships wraps up with this issue as we highlight our long standing relationships with the Woodworkers of Central Ohio (WOCO) and Sauder Woodworking.
WOCO volunteers answered the Furniture Bank’s call for help to meet the need to increase dresser production for families impacted by poverty and living in empty or sparsely furnished homes. They helped to streamline dresser production and expand our woodshop to accommodate the increased production to a current 40-50 per week. Bed frame and table production were added, and today, these furniture items are assembled by corporate and community volunteers. Our dedicated “cut crew” cuts all of the pieces for the tables and bed frames and also supports the dresser crews’ needs for dresser components.
The volunteer woodworkers have also stepped up to take on special projects. Earlier this year, “A-Team” volunteers, now based at Furniture with a Heart Thrift Store and formerly known as the bed frame crew, built twenty twin bed frames for the 2019 Bed Race. They are now responding to an increased need to replenish our stock of bed frames and will be building 40-60 beds over the coming weeks.
The support of Sauder Woodworking makes it possible for furniture production by generously donating the wood each year, valued in excess of $250,000. Not only has a milestone 13,000th dresser been built from Sauder wood this month in the Yale Avenue woodshop but also the 5,000th bed frame was built by volunteers from Chase. In addition, thousands of kitchen, coffee and end tables and chairs have been built by corporate, community and youth group volunteers from wood donated by Sauder. Sauder has also donated hundreds of ready to assemble furniture kits that volunteers have built for families and for purchase at Furniture with a Heart Thrift Store.
The Furniture Bank has been fortunate to receive Sauder’s generous financial support of Big Hearts and the Bed Race, including presenting sponsorship of the Bed Race the past two years. Doug Miller, Sauder Director of National Sales Accounts, serves on the Furniture Bank Board and chaired the Bed Race Steering Committee the past two years.
As we’ve shared in this column through-out this year, strategic partnerships are crucial to strengthening our mission. The Furniture Bank is fortunate to benefit from our partnerships with Woodworkers of Central Ohio, Sauder Woodworking and dozens of other partners that support our efforts to turn empty houses into homes of hope. Thank you!