Recycle Furniture for Families in Need

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Tompkins Weekly 11-13-19

By Maja Anderson

Neighbor to Neighbor (formerly Love Knows No Bounds) is a small nonprofit organization that helps with furniture redistribution and small home repair programs in Tompkins County and the city of Ithaca.

Our mission is to work with people to meet their needs for a safe, sturdy and functional home when they don’t have the resources to repair or furnish them on their own. We accept and pick up donations of good quality used furniture items and redistribute them to low-income people who need to furnish their homes.

Cornell student volunteers load up a mattress for delivery. Photo provided.

Fortunately, several of our services also contribute toward the betterment of the environment. By redistributing good quality furniture, including dressers and mattresses, we bring items that are useful into homes where they can have continued life and keep them out of the garbage and, eventually, landfills.

We also cover mattresses and box springs with quality bio bags to prevent the spread of bed bugs and other pests. For our small home repair program, not only do we seek to help keep low-income homeowners in their houses by making sure they get needed repairs, but we also aim to use materials that are sustainable and extend the life of the house such as installing metal roofing.

The organization was begun by local social workers responding to needs of in-person aid and repair work just after Hurricane Katrina in 2006 in New Orleans. Similar aid and repair work was carried out after Hurricane Sandy in New York and after tropical storm Lee created flooding in Owego.

It was during work with Sonja Ayiti in Haiti that we learned of the principle of koud-a-koud, or working shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors in the spirit of common struggle, rather than charity. Inspired by that spirit, we recently launched the Neighbor to Neighbor Initiative to address the issue of substandard housing right here and focused our furniture redistribution program in Tompkins County.

Throughout it all, one of the best parts of our work has been experiencing the impacts of these human connections that we have had on each other, both volunteers and clients. Working with LKNB, now N2N, you learn that, no matter who you are or your skill level, you can contribute to something good in the world, and that is life-changing.

We are non-sectarian and are open to volunteers and love to meet and welcome new people! Feel free to reach out, sign up or send us a request or email at our website!

Maja Anderson is Co-Director of Neighbor to Neighbor.

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