January 16th is marked in Houston’s history as being the city’s largest single day of volunteerism. Technology company and social media platform Twitter recruited 4,400 of its employees to participate in a city-wide day of volunteering and Volunteer Houston, an organization that pairs volunteers with nonprofit agencies, pulled the massive undertaking off beautifully. Twitter Volunteers were partnered with 51 local nonprofit agencies at 44 project sites across the Greater Houston Area for a day of volunteerism dubbed ‘#TwitterForGood.’ Houston Furniture Bank was proud to be selected as one of the 85 agencies with 35 Twitter employees volunteering at 8220 Mosley Rd.
Together, the volunteers recycled over 100 mattresses, helping Houston Furniture Bank to keep them out of our city’s landfills. Twitter employees were surprised to discover all the different components that go into a mattress and many commented that mattress recycling is very hard work! Twitter employees from all over the world quickly learned the tricks of the trade from Houston Furniture Bank staff who enjoyed welcoming the visitors. Not only did Twitter lend its staff to Houston Furniture Bank for the day, they also donated the materials needed to build 80 chairs to be given away to families in need. The group assembled them themselves in record time and lined them up in the Furniture Distribution Center, ready to be selected by families.
The “tweeps” enjoyed lunch with Houston Furniture Bank Executive Director, Oli Mohammed, coaxing from him the story of how he founded Houston Furniture Bank 26 years ago when he was a caseworker at what is now the Harris Center. It was a beautiful day of community, between employees from Twitter and Houston Furniture Bank and also between our fellow charitable organizations throughout the city. It warmed our hearts to see images and videos of volunteers giving love to SPCA puppies, improving infrastructure on local farms, and cleaning up neighborhood parks in Historic Third Ward.
Eighty chairs are already making a huge impact in the Furniture Distribution Center at Houston Furniture Bank. Our inventory depends entirely on donations, which can mean that certain items sometimes run low. Tables and chairs are one of the most popular items selected by the families we serve and finding four that match and are in great condition can be a challenge!
Houston Furniture Bank looks forward to applying the lessons learned from our work with Twitter to grow a new “Furniture Builders” Program. Groups of 20 or more can now schedule a time to build furniture at Houston Furniture Bank, donating the funds to purchase the supplies for much-needed kitchen tables, coffee tables or dressers. If your organization is interested in learning more about our Furniture Builders Program, please click HERE.