IKEA and the Philadelphia Furniture Bank, perfect together.
Samantha Eisenman, Local Marketing Specialist at IKEA, gets a lot of letters. But two years ago, she got a letter from Pathways signature program, the Philadelphia Furniture Bank, that caught her attention. “The Bank’s work, helping to make a new home really feel like home is such a unique thing,” she explains. “That’s the piece that made it such an obvious partnership. Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people.”
Samantha met with our staff to hear about our needs, and facilitated an IKEA donation of mattresses and bedframes for the bank. Mattresses are an important item at the Furniture Bank. Because they receive such heavy use within a home, we don’t give them out second hand. That means the Bank will often buy mattresses and give them to our clients at a loss. IKEA’s donation, and donations from other furniture stores and from many of you have been important in sustaining our work. If you are looking for ways to make an impact, or know of an organization that can donate new mattresses, please reach out to us here!
During the holiday season in 2015, IKEA’s staff was brainstorming way to give back to the community, and thought of us. They invited 50 participants from Pathways to a fun filled evening. We reached out to partner organizations, and invited them to join us. IKEA staff members served a multi-course meal to the participants in the IKEA store, families brought their children to do crafts and open presents, and even the adults walked away with a special holiday gift bag. “We had so much fun!” Samantha recalls. “It was so nice for my coworkers to learn about the work the Furniture Bank is doing.”
If you visit the Philadelphia Furniture Bank today, you’ll be greeted by a large white tapestry with lush green leaves. In our office, you’ll find a plush navy arm chair and enjoy shadow boxes filled with colorful designs. On our tour of the Bank, our art section will stand out, each piece well-lit and beautiful arranged on sturdy, white racks. IKEA donated these pieces to us when we won their Life Improvement Challenge in July of 2016. This makeover allows us to welcome participants into a warm, homey space. It’s their first glimpse that an inviting home is just around the corner for them.
Our partnership with IKEA led to children moving off the floor to sleep in beds, men and women getting a special meal and a beautiful holiday treat, and visitors to the Philadelphia Furniture Bank having a vision for what their homes can be. Many thanks to Samantha and IKEA for making these moments possible, and to all our amazing donors and partners. None of us can make Philadelphia communities healthy and strong by ourselves, but together we are making a difference for struggling families every day. We are so glad to be partnering with you, and IKEA, on that journey.
We are currently selling tickets for our first ever Annual Chair Affair, an exciting event to raise support for the Philadelphia Furniture Bank while supporting local artists and creating beautiful furniture. Get your tickets to this landmark event by clicking here.