When Jennifer Adams relocated to Charlotte three years ago, she was working part-time for an interior designer out of Winston-Salem. To keep up with local interior designers, she began following a few on social media to learn about the city’s trades and vendors. One of them was participating in Furnished 2020, a charitable contest between area interior designers to create a winning vignette, accompanied by a virtual auction of all ten designers’ showroom pieces. Proceeds from voting and bidding benefit Furnish for Good, where the mission is to serve “Charlotte area individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness, poverty, and other dire circumstances through the effective reuse of quality furniture and household donations.”
Shortly after discovering the organization, Adams donated a few household items to the nonprofit, and the staff asked if she would like a tour of the warehouse.
“One walk around, and I knew this was the place for me to spend my time helping others,” Adams says. “Once Taylor, my husband, saw how impactful FFG is in the community he wanted to become involved, too.”
Now two years later, he is on the board of directors, and she is co-chair of Furnished 2022. Read on to learn more about Furnish for Good and this year’s Furnished event.
Q. What has been most fulfilling about this service experience?
A. The immediate impact in Furnish for Good clients’ lives is what is so fulfilling. When we receive comments from them like, “The dining room table is my favorite piece of furniture because I can sit around it with my entire family, and we have never had one before,” I realize how significant our work is for multi-generations of a family. Our partnering agencies find a client housing, and we at FFG help make it a home.
Q. Furnished is Oct. 30th – Nov. 6th. What exciting things have been occurring behind the scenes in preparation?
A. Furnished 2022 actually kicked off back in spring when the 10 competing designers were chosen, including a team from Queens University’s interior design and architecture program. All summer they have been busy creating, and we can’t wait to reveal their individual approaches on Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. Mark your calendar! This is also when the online auction begins. Bidding on showroom items and voting for your favorite design vignettes ends at 8 p.m. Nov. 6, with the winning designer announced the next day on Nov. 7.
Q. How can Smarty Mamas interested in supporting Furnish for Good and Furnished be involved?
A. We are always looking for new volunteers at the warehouse, but there are also other ways to support the organization through donation drives and household donations. For the Furnished event in particular, there are three main ways: signing on for a sponsorship level, voting for a favorite design vignette (1 vote = a $20 donation), and shopping the online auction where you can score some unique, beautiful finds.
Q. So many of us want to be more involved in addressing community needs the way you are. What is your advice about identifying a right fit to serve (and making volunteerism a priority)?
A. Find an organization you believe in and where you can see the direct good they are doing in the community. Once I found FFG and the wonderful people who volunteered there, finding time and getting in a routine each week of doing good came easily.
Q. Have your two sons been involved with FFG or curious about the work you’re doing?
A. Yes, it is definitely a family affair. We had a donation drive at our house last summer, and both of my children helped out by collecting items from neighbors and loading them in the truck. We also had the opportunity to go as a family to a Knights baseball game where the team awarded Furnish for Good with a donation check; my sons were proud to wear their FFG hats all evening.
Q. What are some tips for fall/winter decorating while still keeping calm over the holiday season?
A. I try to decorate for our family, not to make it picture perfect. I use decorations that have been in our family for a long time and display kids’ holiday artwork from years past. I also love to use seasonal elements from our yard like greens and magnolia leaves to spruce up old garland or to make holiday flower arrangements.
Q. Having recently moved from Winston-Salem to Charlotte, what are your family’s favorite local adventures — including any dog-friendly ones (asking for myself, owner of a new puppy!)
A. A few of our favorite Charlotte spots are Pins Mechanical and el Thrifty for games and fun drinks. We like Protagonist and Catawba Brewing for dog/family-friendly breweries. Big Rock Nature Preserve and Freedom Park are some of our favorite parks for the boys and our pup.