(PHOTO: Volunteers move and sort donated furniture in the Matthew House warehouse.)
- Matthew House collects usable furniture for re-distribution to the marginalized Ottawa community, helping over 600 local families each year.
- Items currently in demand include tables, chairs, couches, pantries, bed frames, mattresses, bed linens, small kitchen appliances, kitchenware, and any other object that is considered a basic household necessity.
As you drive along the beautiful roads of Stittsville each morning, one can’t help but notice how lucky we are. Homes with perfectly manicured lawns, neighbours waving to you as they complete a morning stroll, coffee shops welcoming you with delicious smells that pass by your nose at the perfect time, and (on the occasional day this year) a picture perfect sunrise that excites you for the following weekend.
If there is one day a week that each of us experience, however, that overshadows the beauty of our community, it is garbage day. Each morning, we drive by countless beds, chairs, couches, dressers, and kitchenware that we freely choose to send to the landfill.
Sure, our time with these items has ended and there is no better way to spruce up our home than to replace old items with new ones. We can all agree, too, that the City of Ottawa has an exceptional waste program that allows for us to dispose of nearly any item for no tangible cost. So why would we not allow our local garbage collectors to take these items away for us?
Well, because somebody in our community needs these items. One of our neighbours does not have a bed to sleep on, a table to enjoy a meal from, or a sofa to relax on with family and friends.
Matthew House Ottawa is available to ensure a family will benefit from items which may have otherwise been condemned to the garbage pile. Matthew House is a not-for-profit organization that is comprised of two separate programs: Refugee Services and The Furniture Bank.
Refugee Services provides three months of accommodation and support for newly arrived claimants, while – once known as The Furniture Bank of Ottawa – Matthew House Furniture Bank collects usable furniture for re-distribution to the marginalized Ottawa community – regardless of their origins. Each year, the Furniture Bank provides basic household furnishings to over 600 local families who are referred by community programs, churches, and other social agencies.
Items currently in demand include tables, chairs, couches, pantries, bed frames, mattresses, bed linens, small kitchen appliances, kitchenware, and any other object that is considered a basic household necessity.
Donations of these items are accepted at 340 Legget Drive, Door # 4, Kanata, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 12pm and 4pm. Drop-offs are also available on the second and fourth Saturday of each month (by appointment only). In addition, pick-ups can be scheduled by calling 613-591-6681 or by visiting www.matthewhouseottawa.org. A minimal fee is required based on item size and quantity. A tax receipt will be provided for your donation.
Although the Matthew House Furniture Bank greatly relies on donations, Program Manager David Botha says that “the cornerstone of this organization is the volunteers. Without them, the operation would not be a success.”
Unfortunately, there is also a dire need for volunteer drivers with a G-license to drive the cube truck and for strong individuals to move furniture items as well. If you, or somebody you know, is looking to assist an invaluable community organization, please submit an online application by clicking on the “Volunteer” tab at www.matthewhouseottawa.org.
(Mathew Boldt is a Stittsville resident and volunteer at Matthew House Ottawa. Previously, he was a Garbage Man for the City of Ottawa.)