published Friday, July 6th, 2012

A beneficial partnership

There are many long-standing partnerships among community agencies that serve those in need of assistance. Indeed, the passage of time has demonstrated time and again that two or more agencies working together often can provide more timely and effective assistance than an individual provider could deliver alone. A new partnership promises to do the same.

Chattanooga Goodwill Industries and the Chattanooga Furniture Bank will work together to expand a program that currently provides used but serviceable home furnishings to displaced or homeless families and individuals. Very often, the availability of such furniture helps those in need turn a vacant house or home from an impersonal space into a place of safety, stability and, eventually, a home.

The Goodwill-Furniture Bank partnership allows each agency to expand its services. Goodwill has almost a century of experience in collecting and recycling household items. The Furniture Bank is younger but has a solid record of providing furniture and related items to those in need. The agencies have worked together in the past, but the new, more formal partnership strengthens those ties and builds on them.

Each agency, of course, will benefit from the union, but the real beneficiaries are those in need and the community at large. The demand for services is increasing. The Furniture Bank has seen a marked increase in the demand for assistance in recent months and is working diligently to meet those needs. Goodwill, with its well established resources, collection system and expertise in warehousing should be able to help the bank fulfill requests for items.

Goodwill and the Furniture Bank will maintain separate identities and operations in most instances. The partnership simply provides the community with another outlet -- and opportunity -- for donors to recycle no longer but serviceable items into something useful. That, by any measure, is a win-win situation for all involved.

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