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Furniture Bank Celebrates its 15th Anniversary

An Open House... A Wonderful Home Coming
On Wednesday, March 13, staff and board members warmly welcomed invited guests to tour the Furniture Bank’s new warehouse facilities — its very first permanent home at 25 Connell Court in Etobicoke. It is an incredible story of an inspiration that began in 1996 when Sister Anne Schenck CSJ visited a Somalian mother with four young children living in an empty apartment with only two small cooking pots. Two years later, Furniture Bank was established and last year alone, it assisted 2,739 families.   
 
What a journey! From unheated temporary quarters with two trucks only four years ago, today it boasts a spacious, attractive, bright, heated warehouse where the clients can shop for what they need, selecting items from the creative displays of donated goods. 
 
A new logo and branding has also been designed. Check it out at www.furniturebank.org, as it will soon be seen on TTC trains and buses. Now with five trucks, there are already plans afoot to serve more families referred by Toronto shelters and agencies.  
 
Laurel Broten, MPP, Etobicoke-Lakeshore, expressed her excitement at having the Furniture Bank as a neighbour. She is looking forward to a long lasting friendship with many more years of compassionate service.  
 
A highlight of the evening was the tribute given to Sr. Anne. What a surprise when the Board revealed its nomination of her for the Order of Ontario.  Anne spoke simply as she remembered the amazing people who joined her in making Furniture Bank a reality. 
 
What has motivated the staff and volunteers over these 15 years? Sr. Anne’s prayer summed it up beautifully: 
 
"Gracious God, send down your Spirit upon this building and all within it, that each will experience the warmth of hospitality and of acceptance; that peace and justice will reign in all our interactions; that we may receive your gifts of wisdom and knowledge in making decisions that will be life-giving for all and that we may know that we are truly co-creators with God in building peace in this small corner of our universe, and in the lives of our many clients, believing that every person has a right to live in dignity. For all this we give you thanks, O Lord."   
 
Janet Speth CSJ
Photos by Alan Flores Photography
 

 

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