Furniture bank provides gently used goods to foster kids, formerly homeless families
Founded by interior designer Carolyn Flannery, 2022 Giving Marin grant recipient Make It Home is a nonprofit furniture bank that provides gently used furniture and household goods to newly-housed foster kids, formerly homeless families and individuals in transition who would otherwise move into an empty apartment.
By providing furnishings to those formerly in crisis, Make It Home not only creates a true home for its clients, but also greatly increases their confidence and sense of security. These efforts dramatically reduce their chance of returning to the streets and puts them on a positive path, the nonprofit’s leaders say.
A woman-owned business, Make It Home is also a Certified California Green Business and received the 2022 Joe Garbarino Small Green Business of the Year Award from the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers refinish, reupholster and even reimagine many of the pieces that are donated.
“We keep tons of furnishings out of landfills,” Flannery said. “Caring about our community and the environment is woven into everything we do.”
With warehouses in San Rafael and Walnut Creek, Make It Home partners with local agencies in seven Bay Area counties who identify specific clients in need. Using quality donated furniture and household goods, volunteers and designers carefully craft spaces, then send a Polaroid to the partnering agency to share with the client.
“We’re not just donating ‘stuff’ — we’re creating special spaces for people to thrive in,” said Kendall Galli, Make It Home board member. “Our client’s homes are small, so we have to be thoughtful about the furniture and the pieces we select.”
Recently, the group launched Make It Yours, a pop-up that offers the public the opportunity to shop the Make It Home warehouse. Curated, donated treasures from designers, stagers and donors including textiles, art, home goods, furniture, decorative throw pillows, king-sized bedding and accessories are available at prices modeled by secondhand industry standards. One hundred percent of the proceeds generated go directly to support the families served by Make It Home.
For more information, visit makeithomebayarea.org.