St. John’s, NL, Canada – November 1, 2022: Last Thursday was the first-ever Heads Without Beds: Leaders Edition and it was a huge success! 11 incredible leaders signed up to sleep without their beds for one night, exceeding their fundraising goal for a total of $45,106!
All funds raised will support the Home Again Furniture Bank, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing furniture poverty. Furniture poverty is a real issue in the community, and a bed, couch or table can make a big difference in someone’s life. They help a wide variety of people who are leaving homelessness or incarceration, new Canadians, and people who are escaping abusive relationships. Including recent divorcees who can’t gain access to their children until they have the appropriate furniture and seniors who may have experienced flood damage or bedbugs and can’t afford to replace those items. Thank you to the participants, donors, and volunteers who helped bring this new and unique event together.
A special thank you to Laurie Balan, who participated in the event and raised over $4,000! Check out what Laurie had to say about the event!
On Oct 27th, I participated in Home Again Furniture Bank’s first night of Heads Without Beds: Leaders Edition. I was honoured to be invited to this inaugural event and to have the opportunity to network with other companies that focus on giving back to the community in the same way as Genoa. While I have been fortunate to have been involved in Home Again Furniture bank initiatives before and know about their ambition to end furniture poverty in the Northeast Avalon, I didn’t really appreciate what this night was all about or the influence it would have on me. First, I would like to thank everyone who sponsored me in this event and helped the charity reach its ambitious goal of $45,000. Your donations really will make a difference in someone’s life!
The night was certainly not a hardship for those in attendance, as there were fun activities and icebreakers to get everyone connected. Still, throughout the evening, it became very clear how impactful Home Again is to the lives of many individuals and families in our community. Hundreds of people throughout our region sleep on floors, yoga mats or deflating air mattresses because they don’t have a bed to sleep in. I’m sure anyone can relate to how a “bad night’s sleep” can ruin the next day but imagine night after night of having to try and sleep without the basic essentials needed for a restful sleep. Without a decent sleep, facing the next day, possibly without other basic furniture needs that we often take for granted, must be so difficult.
While I slept without my bed for just one night, I imagined how it would feel to have to do it every night. I also imagined having my children endure that and how their day might look at school the next day if that were the case. I could keep going down the path of what-ifs, but it’s hard to think about. The families that benefit from Home Again Furniture Bank don’t get to ‘think’ about it; they have to live it. One ambassador whose life has been changed by the generosity of this charity joined us at the event and shared his life experiences intending to bring awareness to many more in need. His story was inspiring, and his gratitude was infectious. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room after his share, and I still get a shiver when I recall his story and how his life has turned around.
So while it started as a simple “Sure, I’ll sleep on the floor for one night,” it turned into a night of education and awareness of the many essential furniture needs that exist all around us. I’m proud to be part of a company like Genoa with such a strong community pillar – supporting the volunteer time of its employees. I’ll be looking forward to the next Heads without Beds event and jumping on one of the upcoming Furniture Fridays that Genoa has been a long-term partner of. I encourage everyone to look at Home Again’s missions and how you can get involved to make a difference.