Living United

Guest blog by Rob Boyle, Executive Director, Furniture Bank

November 1, 2017

Furniture Bank and United Way: Fresh paint and a lengthy partnership

United Way volunteers pose in front of a Furniture Bank sign.

If you take a peek inside the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan warehouse, you’ll find it to be more of a bright, beautiful and inviting space. This is thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of 20 staff members from United Way for Southeastern Michigan. The organization volunteered to come out and paint our warehouse this past August.

The Furniture Bank “Painting Party” was one of seven major volunteer projects tackled by 125 United Way staff in total. All of these projects were in keeping with United Way’s mission to mobilize the caring power of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan to improve communities and individual lives in measurable and lasting ways.

“The families we serve have endured many hardships, which is why we want them to have an uplifting experience when they come to pick out their furniture,” said Furniture Bank Executive Director Rob Boyle.

“United Way understands this in ways many organizations wouldn’t, so they were all-in with us on this project.”

United Way staffers pose for a shot while volunteering at The Furniture Bank.

Boyle said this is only one way that United Way is helping the Furniture Bank bring about positive change. “We’ve been a United Way partner for years,” Boyle said. “And when we wanted to expand our mission into Wayne County and Detroit, their support was instrumental. We’re proud to display the United Way logo on the truck we purchased for our expansion.”

United Way for Southeastern Michigan focuses on strategies in Education, Economic Prosperity and Health that change individual lives and benefit the entire community, so everyone has the same opportunities to succeed.

Painting the walls at the Furniture Bank.
United Way staffers paint the walls at The Furniture Bank.

Furniture Bank: A vital service

“The Furniture Bank provides a vital service to our community. They provide what so many of us often take for granted. That includes beds, kitchen tables and even silverware,” said Kerri Gentry, director of United for Southeastern Michigan’s partner network. “We’re proud of our longstanding partnership with the Furniture Bank to help families on their journey to stability.”

“No child will be ready for school if that child is sleeping on a cold, hard floor,” added Boyle. “No family can have a healthy, prosperous life if they are living in an empty shell of a house.”

Over the past 10 years, United Way played a key role as the Furniture Bank has provided more than 15,000 families with more than 100,000 items of furniture. We cannot thank them enough for all their support and partnership!