Here at the Furniture Bank we are really looking forward to 2020 and hopeful for the opportunities that it will bring to help more central Ohio individuals and families challenged by the effects of poverty.For us this means having enough essential furniture (sofas, tables and chairs, beds, dressers) to give to families in need with the generous donations of these items that we receive from other families, businesses, hotels and colleges and universities. Last year, we provided furniture to more than 3,000 families to help turn their empty houses into homes thanks to these generous donors. While we are pleased to have helped these families we know that the need for furniture far outweighs our ability to provide it.
This year we’re looking forward to expanding our social enterprise’ footprint into Fairfield County with the planned opening of a combined furniture bank and thrift store in Lancaster. Furniture with a Heart Lancaster will be located in The Plaza shopping center at 1217 N. Memorial Drive in 25,000 sq. ft. of space that formerly housed a grocery store.
Interior renovations are currently underway, windows have been installed and the exterior has been refurbished. Soon we will begin stocking inventory and preparing it for the showroom floor. A weekend grand opening celebration is being planned, and the details will be shared a little closer to the store opening which we anticipate will be mid-spring. Services for families that need furniture will begin soon after the store operations are solidified. Employment and volunteer opportunities will be available.
While the inventory will primarily be furniture items, the store will also carry limited quantities of kitchen items and small appliances, linens, decorative items, lamps, etc. available for purchase at thrift prices. We are already offering furniture donation pick-ups in the Lancaster area, which can be scheduled by calling us at 614-545-3838.
In the meantime, follow the progress on the building renovation and preparations for opening by visiting the Lancaster page on our website at furniturebankcoh.org/lancaster.
The success of the new furniture bank and thrift store will allow the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio to help more families in need as the surplus of merchandise sales will be invested right into our mission. Our first Morse Road Furniture with a Heart Thrift Store has generated a surplus of $1.1 million since its launch in spring of 2016, enabling us to provide about 4,000 families with furniture for their homes.
Thanks to the leadership and foresight of our Board we have been able to further our mission by generating our own revenue through social enterprise so that we can help more families in need. We thank our funders, furniture donors, referral partners and generous financial supporters for your role in helping to turn empty houses into homes of hope for families struggling with severe life challenges.