December 5, 2023

Furniture Bank

Swing Your Furniture Bank

Georgian Bay Furniture Bank needs help to keep helping others

After their delivery vehicle broke down a few weeks ago, the Collingwood-based non-profit has started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the cost and repairs of another vehicle

A local non-profit that gives a hand-up to others is now asking Collingwood residents for a little hand-up of its own.

The Georgian Bay Furniture Bank is a Christian non-profit that provides furniture free of charge to clients of other local non-profits such as Out of the Cold Collingwood, My Friend’s House and Community Connection. The bank serves Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Thornbury and Stayner and will collect and drop off gently used furniture donations to newly housed individuals to help them get back on their feet.

However a few weeks ago, some car trouble put a kink in their plans.

“Our vehicle broke down, and it has gone to scrap. We had to buy a new vehicle. It was costly, because we don’t get anything. We fund everything ourselves,” said Elizabeth Gordaneer, one of the organizers behind Georgian Bay Furniture Bank.

As of Nov. 20, the bank had stopped doing pickups due to COVID-19 restrictions. Since their delivery truck broke down, the group has purchased a replacement used vehicle out of their own pockets but it requires repairs to be fully operational. They have been borrowing a vehicle in the meantime for emergency deliveries but this temporary solution will not work long-term.

As the non-profit is fully funded from the volunteers’ pockets, the organizers currently find themselves at a loss.

“Anything we can bring in to help cover the cost of this truck is going to be a big help to enable us to continue to do what we do to help others,” said Gordaneer. “This is very important for people who have been homeless, or lost things in a fire, or come out of an abusive relationship. We deeply care that people are struggling and they need help.”

Mike Scott started the bank with a little wood trailer and a couple of pieces of furniture about three years ago. The bank has since expanded with the need.

“People were moving into apartments without even a roll of toilet paper. We knew we had to do something,” said Gordaneer. “Over the past three years we’ve been doing this, we’ve helped well over 200 people by now.”

The GoFundMe goal is $5,000, which will go toward repairs and the cost of the new vehicle.

“Whatever comes in, comes in, but it will help tremendously to cover the cost. We also pay for three storage units, which isn’t cheap. The added expense of the truck just isn’t sustainable right now,” she said.

“There is a huge housing shortage in Collingwood. We have so many stories of people who have been on social assistance that have no money for an apartment. Even if they get funding from the government, they have very little leftover at the end of the month. They can barely afford food, let alone furniture,” she said.

To contribute to Georgian Bay Furniture Bank’s GoFundMe for the costs of a new vehicle, click here.