Today, Houston Furniture Bank’s Furniture Distribution Center is freshly-stocked with dressers, tables, couches, sleeper-sofas and chairs, thanks to a generous donation from Hampton Inn at Hobby Airport, operated by Aimbridge Hospitality. Large-scale donations like this one only happen a few times a year for Houston Furniture Bank and they are vital to providing assistance to as many families as possible. This donation, however, had extra significance — it was coordinated by a former furniture assistance recipient!
For twenty-six years, Houston Furniture Bank has been Making Empty Houses Homes. Each day at our Furniture Distribution Center, caseworkers from area organizations bring their clients to “shop” for the essential furniture. Those who benefit from our services are on their path to stability, recovering from natural disasters, homelessness, illness, poverty, and much more. For instance, since Hurricane Harvey Houston Furniture Bank has served 2,500 storm survivors and their families and in 2018, our Mattress Recycling Center recycled 14,722 mattresses, enough to fill 2.8 Olympic swimming pools!
A Furniture Recipient Returns
When it came time to renovate the Hampton Inn at Hobby Airport, General Manager Denise Cook knew that her Assistant General Manager, Aimee Brock, would know just what to do with the furniture they no longer needed. Little did she know just how true that was. More than ten years ago, Aimee Brock and her family received assistance from Houston Furniture Bank and she knew the impact that furniture donations could make.
Aimee recalls visiting its former location in the East End and being able to select much-needed tables and chairs for her home. She remembers the experience as “a blessing.”
The following year, Aimee completed community service hours at Houston Furniture Bank. “Looking back on my own experience made me want to make the best use of my time by going where I could help make a difference for people, even in a small way, by understanding them and supporting them” she recalled.
During her time at Houston Furniture Bank, Aimee worked in the Furniture Distribution Center, helping families to select essential furniture for their homes. She recalls that the people she encountered were going through what she had recently experienced. “When they came in, they were at a place where they were almost in desperation,” she recalled. Aimee took pleasure in helping them select items. Together, they would “be creative and put together something that made their house a home.”
Shortly after her experience at Houston Furniture Bank, Aimee began working at Hampton Inn as a night auditor and she has worked her way up to becoming the location’s Assistant General Manager.
Aimee has not forgotten her struggle, nor has she passed up the chance to pay it forward in her new life. She remembers her own potential when she makes hiring decisions and she did not hesitate to seize the opportunity to help hundreds of Houston-area families when it came. Remembering her experience from years before, it was Aimee who knew just who to call when it became clear that Hampton Inn Hobby Airport would be looking for the best way to replace all their furniture.
Located just minutes from the Hampton Inn location, the Houston Furniture Bank staff was able to respond right away once Aimee reached out. Over a one-week period, Houston Furniture Bank staff and community service workers were able to recover 202 chests, 155-nightstands, 91 desks, 20 sleeper loveseats, 43 chaise lounges, 38 mirrors, 39 end tables, and 47 ottomans! This high-quality furniture that might otherwise have been discarded or liquidated is now being selected by Houston-area families and delivered all over the city.
Aimee says she wishes more people knew about the Houston Furniture Bank and the services it provides. In addition, she would like people to know that “it’s a friendly place and you can take pride in what you are able to receive.”