57 - Larchmont, NY
"By providing families in need with free furniture, we are not just giving them a bed to sleep on and a table to share a family meal - we are helping them "make a house a home" so they can begin to rebuild their lives in comfort and dignity."
As a community volunteer, Kate knew that in the midst of affluence, many families in her county were living in empty apartments without the means to buy furniture. At the same time, she watched with dismay as gently-used furniture was regularly discarded at the curb and carted away to needlessly clog the waste stream. She connected the dots and created Westchester County’s first and only furniture bank - Furniture Sharehouse.
When others might have turned a blind eye, Kate acted. She networked with community groups to spread the word to reuse furniture rather than throw it away. She raised funds. She rented a warehouse. She motivated groups to hold furniture drives. She created a network of 40 social service agencies to identify families and individuals in desperate need of furniture.
Today, Furniture Sharehouse provides basic furniture to families moving out of homeless shelters, escaping domestic violence, reuniting after foster care, struggling with disabilities and recovering from personal and natural disasters. Since 2006, she has galvanized a group of dedicated volunteers and helped more than 1,500 families transform empty rooms into homes, while recycling over 27,000 items of furniture from the waste stream. The impact is profound. Children no longer sleep on the floor and families share meals around a table. That's why Kate is a 2012 Woman of Worth!