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Helping with Furniture

Dawn Wood-Memic
Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator
Helping with Furniture
Aboriginals (First Nation, Metis, Inuit); Visible Minorities or New Canadians; Disadvantaged; LGBTTQ; Men; People with disabilities or medical conditions; Youth (16-18 years); Youth (11-15 years); Children (0-10 years); Animals; Seniors; Women; Youth (19-24 years); Homeless; Athletes

We are all about New Beginnings.

Helping with Furniture (HWF) is a volunteer-run charitable organization providing gently used furniture and household items for those in the Ottawa area who are restarting their lives because of situations of hardship. Our goal is to help residents start a new life by providing both basic necessities and the comforts of a real home - at a time when those comforts are needed most.

Twice a week, a group of volunteers picks up gently used furniture and household items from private donors and delivers to those in need who lack the basics necessary to establish a home. We get referrals from more than 50 social agencies and organizations throughout Ottawa and work with them to assist their clients. Without this help, individuals and families go without a place to sit or eat, without dishes or a bed, some for many months at a time.

HWF is a registered charity, not affiliated with any religious or political group and the only organization in Ottawa that helps those in need to furnish their homes free of charge. For these reasons, we are the choice of referral agencies and, sadly, we always have a waiting list.


Volunteer Opportunities

Individuals or families in need of furniture (clients) are referred to Helping with Furniture by a wide range of social agencies in the Ottawa area. Client information is entered into a spreadsheet, from which several are selected each week for a needs assessment.

The role of the client-selection team member is to communicate with the clients in order to assess their needs and prioritise them based on the needs of other clients. The client selection team member then communicates the clients’ information to “visitor” team members who will then visit the client in their home to assess their needs for furniture and household goods.

The tasks of the client selection team are best suited for a private setting, such as a home.
We are looking for a resourceful, persistent, sensitive person for the position. Volunteers communicate with vulnerable clients and must be able to assess their needs and make decisions, based on priorities and the information collected.

• Must be able to converse in English and French; all other languages are an asset;
• Must have at least two years’ experience in working with vulnerable people, for example, in a social services agency, education or health care;
• Must have good communication skills, and be resourceful, persistent and empathic;
• Must have a computer, internet and a mobile phone (voice and texting) and;
• Must be available to accept return calls and text messages from clients

Nos clients nous sont référés par une grande variété de services sociaux de la région d'Ottawa. L’information à leur sujet est entrée dans un tableur Excel à partir duquel nous en retenons un certain nombre par semaine. Avant de recevoir des meubles, ces clients reçoivent la visite d'une équipe de deux bénévoles de HWF (les « visiteurs ») qui établissent une liste de leurs besoins.

Le rôle de bénévole de la sélection des clients consiste à choisir, d’après une liste de priorités, les clients qui seront visités la semaine suivante et de communiquer l’information à leur sujet aux visiteurs.
Il s'agit d'une fonction qui se fait d’un endroit privé, comme de la maison, et qui demande souplesse et disponibilité. Nous sommes à la recherche d'une personne débrouillarde, persévérante et empathique, prête à composer avec des personnes vulnérables, pouvant évaluer leurs besoins et prendre des décisions fondées sur les renseignements recueillis.

• Doit posséder une expérience d’au moins deux ans auprès de personnes vulnérables. Par exemple, dans une agence de services sociaux ou dans le domaine de la santé ou de l’éducation.
• Doit pouvoir communiquer en anglais et en français; toute autre langue serait un atout.
• Doit posséder de bonnes aptitudes à communiquer.
• Doit avoir un ordinateur, une connexion Internet et un téléphone portable (pour envoyer et recevoir des messages texte).
• Doit être disponible pour communiquer avec les clients qui retournent des appels ou envoient des messages texte.
Deadline: Dec 9, 2019
Volunteer tasks:
• Sort through received donations;
• Place what is useful for families in designatedstorage area(s);
• Set aside items suitable for other HWF areas, for resale or for disposal;
• Test battery operated and electric items to ensure they work
• light cleaning of items if soiled;
• Keep storage area organized;
• Select and pack items for each family or individual receiving a delivery, using a list of needs as provided by the Visitors Team and;
• Label packed boxes or bags with the name of the family clearly identified as per the list from the Visitors Team (often the first name).

Note: Not all tasks will be required for each shift. Sorting and packing are usually done on separate shifts. Sorting is done in the days after donations are received, and packing is then done in the days before deliveries are made.

Skills, experience and qualifications required:
• Physically able to lift boxes and heavy small items;
• Able to work independently or in small teams;
• Attention to detail;
• Exercise judgement considering the needs of different ages, and considering the suitability of donated items;
• Able to use and have access to a computer and;
• Able to co-ordinate and communicate with other HWF volunteers.

• Respect for all HWF procedures and safety measures;
• Completion of Waiver and Sign-Up sheet before first shift;
• Able to travel to and work at the HWF warehouse and;
• Meet weekly timelines.

Time Commitment
• One shift every 2 to 3 weeks for 2 to 4 hours (depending on the number of families and number of volunteers and;
• Training received in orientation and working paired with experienced volunteer.

Note: The time to complete the work is arranged within the team. No specific time is set to perform duties. However, items must be packed and ready for the Wednesday night deliveries.
Location: 5350 Canotek Rd Unit 9, Gloucester
Deadline: Nov 4, 2019
Helping with Furniture is in need of movers to help deliver furniture and household items to new members of our community as well as community members starting over. Movers help with the pick-up of donations, the sorting items at the warehouse and the delivery to families and individuals on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.
Location: 5350 Canotek Rd Unit 9, Gloucester, ON K1J 9C9
Deadline: Nov 1, 2019