The donor: Andrew Chung
The gift: $35,000 and climbing, and lots of furniture
The cause: Furniture Bank in Toronto
Andrew Chung had been involved in a variety of charitable organizations when a friend told him about Furniture Bank, a Toronto-based non-profit that provides furniture to women's shelters, refugees and other people in need.
"The story that they had, and the potential that I saw in the organization, is what got me really engaged in volunteering with them," said Mr. Chung, who lives in Toronto and is vice-president of product management at Veriday Inc., a technology and digital marketing company.
Mr. Chung soon joined the board of the organization and became a regular contributor, both in terms of money and furniture. He's donated about $35,000 since joining the organization in 2009 and he has arranged an untold number of furniture deliveries.
Furniture Bank picks up furniture from donors, who pay a fee for the service but also get a tax receipt for the value of the goods being donated. The bank then works with several social agencies that refer people who need beds or other items.
"We are basically a business that loses money; we pick up for cost, but deliver for free," Mr. Chung said.
However, he said the sense of accomplishment comes from seeing the people the bank helps out every day.
"When you walk a client through the showroom, it's a really kind of mind-shift," he said.
"You really don't know the value of furniture until you see someone come in and say, 'Oh, I can choose what I want to create a home for myself.'"