Company Helps Nonprofits Find Furniture
Office Movers connects charities with discarded desks and cast-off credenzas.
Tucked away in an unincorporated area of Rockville, a modest warehouse holds a treasure trove of desks, chairs and tables waiting to be scooped up by local nonprofits to furnish their offices.
The best part? It's all free.
The second Saturday of every month, D.C.-area nonprofit organizations are invited to visit the Kane Furniture Bank, a 10,000-square-foot showroom on Westmore Avenue, and peruse an inventory of free furniture donated by clients of Office Movers Inc., a local commercial moving company.
"A lot of our clients dispose of furniture … [and] they were looking for ways to facilitate getting it to a nonprofit for donation, " said Joy Newton-Grubb, the vice president of commercial sales for Office Movers. "We felt that we could be part of that process."
Katie Slye-Griffin, the executive director of the National Alliance of Mental Illness of Montgomery County, visited the furniture giveaway in February and returned Saturday. She learned about the bank from an email that Office Movers sent to more than 400 nonprofits in the region.
"It's a huge gift to the nonprofit community that they're doing something like that," Slye-Griffin said. "Our organization doesn't have the budget to be able to buy furniture, and I received a couple thousand dollars worth of furniture."
The Office Movers green initiative team, lead by William Auchter, the vice president of equipment, propertie, and security, established the furniture bank as a way for clients to dispose of office pieces.
"We filled a truck the first time—literally a whole truck. It's really been a blessing to our school to have this," said Glenn Benjamin, the principal of St. Jude Regional Catholic School.
"We decided we were going to recycle and reuse, and that's what happened," Auchter said.
When Office Movers clients are relocating, downsizing or expanding, they can opt to donate their unwanted furniture. Office Movers employees pick up the furniture and select the best items for the showroom or recycle broken pieces.
Since the donation program started last September, more than 42 truckloads of furniture have been delivered to the warehouse.
"We help companies meet their green initiatives," Newton-Grubb said, "and at the same time we help nonprofits by helping them have a resource for getting their furniture for their office."
Although the furniture bank is open from 9 a.m. to noon, representatives from nonprofits line up early for the best selection of furniture. Office Movers employees walk through the showroom with clients and help them choose pieces that fit their needs.
"Last [month] we worked with an agency that had actually grown, and they were just thrilled that they could find desk chairs that matched and lobby furniture that matches," Newton-Grubb said.
Glenn Benjamin, the principal of St. Jude Regional Catholic School, has picked up classroom furnishings like desks, chairs and cubbyhole storage units.
"We filled a truck the first time—literally a whole truck," Benjamin said. "It's really been a blessing to our school to have this."
Tanya Taylor, the executive director of Teen Moms Fresh Start, is grateful to the Kane Furniture Bank for providing office furnishings at no charge.
"They allow us the means to be able to function so we can save our money for the programs," Taylor said.
The next furniture bank will be April 14.