Portland, OR. The “Chair Affair 2021” was a virtual affair to celebrate the fact that Community Warehouse has been serving under-furnished neighbors for the past 20 years. Dale Johannes and Anna Kurnizki, Community Warehouse’s Interim Executive Director, were hosts for the event.

The event featured inspiring stories from people whose houses have been transformed into homes. The event on March 10th raised $262,311 which will be used to connect essential furnishings to neighbors in need throughout the region. Many staff and volunteers helped make the event happen.

Partners like the Jami LeBaron from ROSE Community Development describe the respect and dignity that under-furnished neighbors find. “I’ve helped a single mother of three come in and furnish her home. We came to this location [Community Warehouse in Tualatin] and shopped around. For her, I think that it absolutely filled her with joy to bring home beds, and bring home a couch, and it made a huge difference for her.”

Roz Babener is the founder of Community Warehouse. She highlighted the growth of Community Warehouse over the past 20 years. “We opened our doors in 2001. The first location that we had was just some big garage doors in a storage unit area, and we’ve grown from there.”

Former Client Megan Renee was a Community Warehouse furniture recipient. Megan and her daughters enjoy dinner at the table with lively conversation. “Every night we sit at the table and we have dinner and we talk about our day. It’s important to me that I give them that foundation to build from.”

Megan and her daughters relaxing together on their couch.

Enthusiasm for Community Warehouse’s mission was focused on the essential service that Community Warehouse provides. Testimonials included a mother’s story of resilience despite the challenges caused by disruptions from COVID-19.

Anna Kurnizki, Interim Executive Director explained, “Our mission of giving and receiving invites and inspires everyone to give back. Even during the pandemic, when each of us is in some way struggling, everyone is stepping up – with love for each other.”

You can find out more about the event by visitinghttps://www.communitywarehouse.org/chair-affair/.

About Community Warehouse:

As the only furniture bank in the tri-county region, Community Warehouse provides the necessary support for housing stability. After being deemed an essential service during the shutdown, Community Warehouse remained open to provide fundamental items to families throughout the region. Items such as beds and pots and pans enabled families to shelter in place safely.

Our clients receive essential items critically important for a safe and healthy home, such as a bed to sleep on and tables to eat meals at. These basic items are paramount in ensuring and maintaining housing stability. As a former client explained: “My goals were getting an apartment and providing for my daughter financially, getting on my feet and off of assistance. Furniture was a huge financial burden, so that helped me get the stability to achieve my goals.” Community Warehouse has been sustainably serving the most vulnerable members of the community for 20 years, growing from a grassroots drive to help refugee families from the former Soviet Union to an established 501c3 nonprofit working with 250+ referring agencies to serve 60 families per week. In 2020 alone, CW provided essential furnishings to over 2,800 people, including 900 children under 18. Our clients include people transitioning from homelessness, domestic violence survivors, refugees and immigrants, veterans, and many other individuals and families recovering from crises. 67% of our clients are people of color and 70% are female-headed households.

You can help, too! Drop off your donations of new or gently-used furniture and household items at one of the Warehouse locations in NE Portland and Tualatin. Visit Community Warehouse’s website to learn about most-needed items and donation guidelines: www.communitywarehouse.org.