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Bridging Hopes Spring Cleaning Will Increase Donations

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(credit: CBS) Angela Davis
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities nonprofit that calls itself the largest furniture bank in the country is running low on its inventory. So it’s hoping spring cleaning will help.

Bridging, which has locations in Bloomington and Roseville, accepts furniture donations and household goods year-round for those in need.

But in the last few months, they’ve seen their warehouses come close to being empty.

It appears to be another side effect of our long, harsh winter.

Not as many people have taken the time to look through their home for items they no longer need, and then make arrangements to donate them.

So now Bridging is sounding the alarm and hoping that as Minnesotans start doing some spring cleaning, they will keep the less fortunate in mind, and consider donating their used furniture.

The empty shelves inside Bridging’s Bloomington warehouse tell the story.

“Winter is hard on our inventory. Our donors like to stay home and stay warm. So they are not bringing donations, but we keep serving clients all winter long,” said David Jensen, the operations and logistics manager of Bridging.

Bridging serves more than 4,000 families each year.

“More than half of those households are coming out of homelessness. Eighty-five percent of them live on an income of less than $15,000 a year,” Jensen said.

In order to shop here, you have to be referred by a social service agency. The furniture and household items are free to them.

“Our clients come to us by appointment. There are about 75 of them every week, they come to our two locations,” he said.

That means every week they need at least 75 kitchen tables.

“It’s one thing to have a safe home to finally live in but it’s something different to be able to have a table to share a meal on, to have a place for the kids to do homework on,” Jensen said.

That’s one of the items on the most-wanted list.

The other items in high demand, that they’re low on, include dressers, book shelves and night stands.

Will Gruneweld donated a bookshelf and a small entertainment center.

“They belonged to my daughter and son-in-law, they didn’t fit in. They moved to a different house and they just didn’t fit for them. So they wanted to donate them,” he said.

“Right now our supply is very thin,” Jensen said. “We really are counting on people who are doing spring cleaning to remember Bridging.”

If you don’t have a way to get your donated furniture to one of the drop-off sites, you can schedule a pick up but there is a fee for that.

It’s $75 if you put it out on the curb and $150 if you need them to come inside and move it out for you.

For more information, click here.

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