Happy Anniversary, Furniture Bank!
There were three large cakes, one shaped like a ‘10.’ There were balloons and flowers and crowds of people and City TV’s Breakfast Television arriving early to interview Sister Anne Schenck and tape the action at the Furniture Bank. The Open House carried on till 2 p.m. with tours through the building.
At the 10th anniversary celebration on Oct. 15, after the cakes were cut and shared among volunteers and well wishers, the Executive Director, Peter Prior, presented Sister Anne with an award, which read, in part:
“Over the past decade you have rallied volunteers, supporters and donors to help realize your dream. Today we recognize and say thank you to Sister Anne Schenck for your dedication, devotion and diligence. The candle you lit so many years ago burns bright as it shines on the thousands of individuals and families you have helped to re-establish homes and live in dignity.”
Everyone is familiar with food banks, but what is Furniture Bank? It all started when Sisters Anne Schenck and Mary Macoretta welcomed new refugees to Heron Place Refugee Centre in Scarborough. Each family then needed housing, and after that furniture. When Herron Place Refugee Centre closed, the need for furnishings for newcomers remained. And so Sister Anne’s history with the Furniture Bank began.
Over the past ten years their location at 200 Madison Avenue has become better known; now an average of 10 homes are furnished each day. Families arrive to “shop” for what they will need in their new home. “We try to make it look like shopping at the Bay,” says Sister Anne. And the smiles on the shoppers’ faces tell the tale.