Houston Furniture Bank has been providing essential furniture to families in need for 26 years. This year, we have launched the “No Kids on the Floor” initiative, designed to extend our existing services to more children in our city.
The initiative provides complete mattress sets, including a mattress, a box spring and a bed frame, to children in the region who do not currently have a bed to sleep on, the goal being to ensure that all children have a bed to lay their heads upon each night in Houston.
While the exact number of children sleeping on the floor in the fourth-largest city in the United States is uncertain, what is known is that one in every six Houstonians is living below the federal poverty threshold. The families that come to Houston Furniture Bank each day tell us that they do not have beds for their children.
On May, 18, 2019, Houston Furniture Bank held an inaugural give-away event at our 8220 Mosley Rd. location. Thanks to generous funds provided by The Memorial Exchange Club, Houston Furniture Bank was able to provide mattress sets to 10 children. As the event coincided with Armed Forces Day, Houston Furniture Bank successfully partnered with the Salvation Army and with the VA to identify 10 school-aged children of veterans in need of a bed.
Families came to receive their mattresses and bedding. While their vehicles were being loaded, children participated in a collaborative art project, sponsored by artist PA Mueller, placing their hand prints on a large red canvas. The canvas will be filled with children’s hand prints over time to reflect the impact of the program. Children also honored the day by creating abstract American flag art to take home with them.
Houston Furniture Bank was visited by a number of news outlets including Univision 45, KHOU 11, KPRC 2, FOX 26 and Telemundo 47, helping to highlight the needs of families and the need of donors to support this program. Veteran parents spoke movingly about the challenges that they face as they reintegrate into civilian life after returning home from service and expressed their gratitude to be able to benefit from the program.
In addition to continuing to provide families in need with essential furniture, It is the goal of Houston Furniture Bank to hold a give-away each month this year, giving away at least 10 mattresses on each occasion. Businesses, civic groups and community members are invited to become a part of this initiative and sponsor their own Day of Giving.
“Furniture is vital for quality of life,” said Oli Mohammed, Executive Director of the Houston Furniture Bank. “We know that a good night’s sleep is essential for physical and mental health. That is what No Kids on the Floor is about.”
The cost for Houston Furniture Bank to provide mattress sets for local children is:
- $150 for a twin mattress set for a child.
- $1,500 can provide 10 mattress sets for 10 children.
In 2018 Houston Furniture Bank provided furniture assistance to 2,297 families, distributing 15,538 items through its Furniture Distribution Center and Disaster Relief programs. Its Mattress Recycling Center recycled 14,722 pieces, saving 338,606 cubic feet of landfill space; and, Houston Furniture Bank received a $1.5 million grant from the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, the largest grant received in its history.
The Memorial Exchange Club is part of the National Exchange Club, the oldest service club operating in the United States. Exchange is known for its commitment to improving its community with programs falling into three areas of focus: Americanism, Community Service and Youth, with and emphasis on Child Abuse Prevention. The Memorial Exchange club was founded in 1970 and has a proud history of serving our community, making it one of the oldest clubs in the district. The Memorial Exchange club was instrumental in the foundation of the ESCAPE Family Resource Center, the Police Activities League, and the Firefighters Museum as well as Crimestoppers.