On July 30th, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, a team of Genoa volunteers, Colin Corbett, Jessica Cahill, Lauren Pecore, and Veronica Naterer, headed out for a Furniture Friday with our partners at Home Again Furniture Bank. We’ve talked about our partnership with this organization often in Genoa’s community-related news and for good reason; their impact on our community has been huge and we are so proud to have been a part of their journey since the beginning.
Who is Home Again Furniture Bank?
They are a non-profit organization on a mission to end furniture poverty in the Northeast Avalon of Newfoundland by providing gently-used furniture and household items to individuals and families in need.
For this edition of All Hands on Deck, we are going to chat with three of the Genoa volunteers, Colin, Veronica, & Lauren, who participated in a Furniture Friday to hear about their experience with Home Again. Check out the interview below!
How did you find the experience?
Colin: This was my first time volunteering with Home Again and it was such a great experience on many levels. It felt amazing to physically help such a thoughtful charity, feeling the appreciation of Home Again’s service from the recipients while also building new and strengthened relationships with Genoa team members was an experience I will never forget.
Lauren: It was the type of experience that you walk away thinking about how you can do more. All the volunteers came with the same purpose and we really connected over that. Four hours can seem like nothing sometimes but when you’re directly helping others and seeing the impact, four hours can feel so powerful.
Veronica: It was such a fun experience! I was able to meet a few other members of the Genoa team who work in other departments that I wouldn’t have normally crossed paths with which was nice.
Is there anything you learned about Home Again and their purpose that you didn’t know before?
Colin: I knew that Home Again provided furniture for those in need but didn’t realize the size of the operation, coordination involved and extent of the poverty where we live. To see an entire warehouse full of high quality gently used furniture, to see the Home Again employee Jacob so organized and taking pride in his job, to see the level of poverty throughout St. John’s and surrounding area, it was very eye-opening.
Lauren: It’s a much bigger operation than what you might expect. They’re helping so many individuals and families create a home, it’s truly incredible. Words really can’t do it justice because it’s hard to fully understand the impact that having a furnished home can have on someone’s entire life. When you see it first-hand, you gain a whole new perspective.
Veronica: I wasn’t super familiar with Home Again prior to this experience so to learn about who they are and what they do made me want to come back and volunteer again for their organization. I thought that Home Again just collected the furniture and let people come and pick it up, but I learned that Home Again actually delivers and helps move the furniture into people’s houses!
After spending the day volunteering with Home Again, why would you encourage other employees to become involved?
Colin: I strongly recommend that every employee take the opportunity to volunteer with Home Again. You will not regret the experience, rather you will walk away feeling like you made a positive impact on someone in need. If we ourselves needed such help, we’d hope that someone would volunteer for us.
Lauren: We often forget that it’s a privilege to have an education, a job, and the ability to support ourselves and our families. Recognizing that privilege is important and making a conscious effort in our everyday lives to help others that don’t have that privilege is even more important. Home Again is a way for employees to make a small contribution that creates a big change. On top of that, it’s fun and a valuable learning experience.
Veronica: I would definitely encourage my co-workers to become involved with Home Again. Everyone was super welcoming and nice! As well, I think what they do is an important initiative because the cost of furniture and moving furniture can become quite high and hard for some to cover.
Why do you think it’s important for a company like Genoa to be support their community?
Colin: I think it’s important for companies to strive to do more, like Genoa, to support their communities however possible. It gives employees a sense of the company’s identity and purpose, outside of the general making a profit. It makes you feel good as a human to spend most of your waking hours working for a company that cares about their corporate influence and impact, outside of their market, in the very communities that their employees call home.
Lauren: The ability to make a difference is greater as a team. I think it’s a responsibility for a company to support their community.
Veronica: I think it’s important for a company like Genoa to support their community because I find it’s almost like the importance of having a good balance between work and home life. At work, I feel as though it’s also important to have a balance between the work you’re doing and other activities such as team building and community work!
Can you summarize why community involvement is important in 3 words?
Colin: It’s chaos, be kind.
Lauren: Everyone deserves support
Veronica: Always give back
A big thanks to the team of volunteers for taking the time to not only volunteer but to also share their experience!