IKEA made a donation to three Manitoba organizations on Tuesday that will help to furnish the homes for hundreds of residents who are starting over.
“We are receiving today the household furnishings and everything you need to set up home for 150 households,” said Alexandra Beasse, executive director of Oyate Tipi, one of the recipients of the donation, along with the Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development (CAHRD) and Mother Earth Recycling.
Beasse noted the donation was the culmination of hard work from the National Furniture Link, which arranges for corporate donors to provide donations to furniture banks across North America.
She said Oyate Tipi primarily serves women and children leaving abusive relationships, as well as the homeless population and youth aging out of care.
“Often the people that we serve have nothing or leave with nothing and it makes them feel worthy, that’s what I’ve been told by clients when we are able to donate to them to help them start their households up again,” she said, adding they want the donations they receive to be in good condition.
Beasse explained furniture banks work similar to food banks in that people give them stuff they don’t need anymore, then the organization treats the furniture for bed bugs and they give the items to those who need it.
She said IKEA was incredibly generous, donating a wide range of items.
“Everything from the tea towels in the kitchen to the bedding on the new mattresses and bed frames, to the living room furniture and dining room furniture, cups and plates and cutlery, pots and pans, towels,” she said.
“I mean it’s really wonderful.”
Kevin Chief, a board member for CAHRD, said it’s exciting to see IKEA providing support to those in need during a difficult time period.
“It’s just really impressive, because it’s big furniture like tables and couches and beds, but it’s also some smaller things that you don’t think about, like comforters, plates and even tape measures,” he said.
Chief noted that a lot of support structures that were in place before the COVID-19 pandemic can’t currently function in the same way due to public health restrictions, which has created stress and worry.
“When there’s a community response to come together and provide those services and resources, it provides so much hope and people really feel it.”
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