Portland, OR. Community Warehouse raised a record $200,687 at its annual gala, “Chair Affair,” which was held on June 26th. The event was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Chair Affair 2020 was “a virtual affair to remember,” according to Community Warehouse Communications Manager Pua Trice, and featured “unique art, exciting auctions, and inspiring stories from people whose houses have been transformed into homes.” 

“The event raised a record-setting net of $200,687 that will connect essential furnishings to neighbors in need throughout the region,” Trice said. Dale Johannes and Dunethcka Otero-Serrano, Community Warehouse’s Executive Director hosted the event, as shown in the photo above. “I want to start tonight’s Chair Affair with gratitude,” Otero-Serrano said. “These past few months have been so challenging for all of us, but we have been able to get creative and continue service to our community because of our partners.” 

Children’s Chairs created by local artists and sponsored by wonderful supporters of Community Warehouse. These chairs go to children of families that visit the Warehouse in need of furnishings.

“These past few months have certainly been challenging,” Johannes said, “but your team of superheroes—and they are superheroes—they’ve been hard at work adapting to this change and creating some new ways to meet the needs of the community.” 

The hosts emphasized how important a table or a bed can be throughout Covid-19’s disruptions to daily life, and that Community Warehouse has continued to serve their clients throughout the pandemic by supplying them with Home2Go essential item kits.  

“These are kits that are essential items for every household, designed to give our clients an opportunity to cook their own meals, to have a safe place to sleep, a full set of dishes, and a full set of towels and bedsheets,” said Community Warehouse Program Director Joe Glode in a video.

Stories from various partners, volunteers and clients were spotlighted at the event. Partners like the Tigard-Tualatin School District detailed the impact that essential furnishings have on their students’ capabilities in the classroom, and Youth volunteers highlighted their understanding and proactivity towards Community Warehouse’s mission.

Matthew Mickles, Ben Garcia, and Priscilla Villanueva from the Tigard-Tualatin School District

“Well-being was encapsulated by the Espinoza family,” Trice said, “clients that can enjoy ‘family day’ in a warm and welcoming home.”

The Espinoza Family—Amelia, Alexander, Ailani, Steve, Sandra, and Sandy

According to Glode, at the beginning of the pandemic in March, Community Warehouse had to temporarily lay off most of its staff. “When city and state officials issued a stay at home order, we really were thinking, how do you stay at home if you have nothing at home?” Glode said. 

That’s when Community Warehouse decided to start making essential item kits—called Home2Go kits—with items they had readily available in both their Portland and Tualitan warehouses. 

Since March, Community Warehouse has been able to bring nearly all of their staff back to work in some capacity, and the organization is continuing to focus on providing their services to the Portland community. 

“It means a lot to know that we have the support of everyone in the community to make sure that we can provide furniture in a safe place to live for everyone,” Glode said.

Joe Glode, Program Director at Community Warehouse, preparing a Home2Go Essential Item Kit.

About Community Warehouse:

We’re your friendly local furniture bank, serving the Portland area for over 15 years. How does a furniture bank work? In a nutshell, we collect donated home goods, and work with social service agencies to get those goods in the hands of those who need it most. The stuff you no longer need becomes the solution for a family in need. Pretty simple, huh? At Community Warehouse, it’s the simple stuff – the extra dishes, towels, beds, and more – that changes lives.

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