FurnishAid was originally established in August 2016 after south Louisiana was hit with a 1000 year flood that destroyed an estimated 200,000 homes and 10,000 businesses, approximately 11% of the state population. Only 15% of the homes had flood insurance.
After Louisiana experienced one of the worst natural disasters in recent history, we realized as a company, and as a member of the furniture industry, that we were fully equipped with a long list of manufacturers and distributors who, like us, were eager and ready to make a difference in the lives of those who were left with nothing.
We at Caracole, partnered with Volunteers of America to lead the effort in the flood impact area. All goods and services were donated by US furniture manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and freight carriers. We accepted no monetary donations and ran the entire operation using volunteers.
Thanks to the generous participation of members of the furniture industry, we helped 1,052 flood victims with over $1.5 million in donated goods and services.
FurnishAid will be running another project to help the Hurricane Harvey victims in Southeast Texas, and Volunteers of America has agreed to spearhead the effort in Texas. Given the timeline required for people to remediate flooded homes, the goal is to begin distributing furniture in November or December.
The cleanup and repair process has begun, staffed with family and friends. That effort will take several weeks. There is a desperate need in the hardest hit areas for basic furnishings to restore these homes to a livable condition once the repairs are complete.
Applications for furniture, vetting of the applicants, and local distribution are all handled by Volunteers of America. They do require valid FEMA numbers, and verify the applicants are legitimate prior to selecting recipients. Volunteers of America also provides tax donation receipts for all goods and services donated.
The furniture industry has an opportunity to pull together and provide some much-needed assistance. We are asking for donations of bedroom, dining room, living room, and office furniture settings. All donations, large and small, are welcome. Every setting helps a family in need.
We are very proud to have such an outstanding partnership with Volunteers of America and are honored to be a part of the furniture industry, an industry that cares.
FurnishAid volunteers handle the soliciting of donated goods and transportation services, coordinate pickup of goods from the donor’s location, and manage the logistics and transportation to the distribution points in the flooded areas.