HUDSON – Fresh Start Furniture Bank is giving back to those in need this holiday season.
Founded in 2013 by Sue Waudby and Geoff Schultz, Fresh Start is an organization that collects and distributes furniture and other home essentials to people in need.
“We help people rebuild their lives,” Waudby said.
The organization usually receives more donations during the holidays, but this year Waudby said they are seeing less donations because of inflation.
“It’s hard for a lot of people right now,” she said.
However, this holiday season, Waudby said Fresh Start is still “changing lives” because it delivers important items to families need for the holidays, such as a kitchen table.
“Taking items that donors no longer need and putting them in the hands of people who really could use them but can’t afford them is life changing,” she said.
Fresh Start shoppers shop online for their items and then pick them up. It’s a system that was developed during the pandemic that the organization decided to continue.
Among those who shop at Fresh Start are veterans who are experiencing homelessness.
“I strongly believe that no veteran should ever need anything. They served our country and we need to be there to be their support system,” Waudby said.
In addition to veterans, Fresh Start also serves young adults who are in need of furniture.
Last weekend, volunteers filled 20-year-old Kiana Harper’s mini U-Haul with furniture and cooking wear.
Harper said that she felt “very welcome” while picking up the furniture.
“The experience was phenomenal. I was able to come early and everybody was so helpful, kind and generous. It was a very lovely experience,” she said.
Holiday display supports Fresh Start
One Hudson family uses their elaborate holiday decorations to inspire people who drive by to donate to Fresh Start.
The Bear family, who have lived on Cherry Street for about 12 years, decorates the house and yard with dazzling Christmas lights and decorations that have caused a buzz within the Hudson community.
Charlie Bear said he ordered the lights, which come in blocks of 50-100, in the spring and began setting them up while working from home in the fall.
Meg Murphy-Bear said she “adores” watching kids smile and dance while visiting their house and that she is proud to have married someone who “brings such happiness to lots of people he’s never met.”
According to Murphy-Bear, as of Dec. 8, the family has raised over $800 for Fresh Start.
“The Bears are like our fairy godparents in trying to help us raise money in this season of giving,” said Waudby.
For more information, visit https://freshstartfurniturebank.org/wp/.
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