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Moving Day! A Story of Community Teamwork

Green Coast Rubbish received a most unusual request from one of our community partners – Shelter to Home – during the month of May. This request would transform our operation into a “moving business” for the day to assist Shelter in Home in helping a single mom in a desperate situation. 

Shelter to Home is a non-profit outreach program of the Highlands United Church that provides furniture and household goods, free of charge, to people in need on Vancouver’s North Shore. 

On this occasion, they ran into some pretty daunting logistical problems while assisting one of their clients.

Keep in mind, this was happening right in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic when Shelter to Home had been basically shut down and was unable to receive donations or provide services to any clients.

Then something amazing happened! IKEA decided to make a very generous $2 million donation of furniture and household items to furniture banks across Canada in response to the COVID-19 crisis with Shelter to Home one of the two BC recipients.

As a result, they were back in business and able to help a number of clients – including a client who had found an apartment for June 1st, she received all she needed to outfit a two-bedroom apartment from Shelter to Home’s IKEA donation….beds, bedding and storage cubbies for her children’s room, furniture and linens for her bedroom, a dining table and chairs, complete living room furniture, kitchen wares, lamps. The agency made arrangements with a moving company.  All of her furniture was “staged” ready for the moving company to deliver it.

That’s when Murphy’s Law kicked in and the moving truck didn’t show up. Shelter to Home didn’t give up but was unable to find any moving companies available to complete the client’s move by June 1.  Finally, they called Green Coast Rubbish as a last resort to see if we could help. 

“I was pretty surprised to get this unusual call from Shelter to Home, but immediately I wanted to help and committed my team and trucks to make the move happen the next day,” explained Eamonn Duignan, President & CEO of Green Coast Rubbish.

Everything went according to plan as the Green Coast team sprang into action. Here are some photos to show what went on behind the scenes:

“We were so grateful that … your team was willing to help us out of a difficult situation,” said Ruth Kershaw, founder of Shelter to Home, thankfully.  

“When the moving company didn’t turn up for our client’s things, I knew she and her young children had nowhere else to be as of June 1, other than the empty apartment.  Turning disposal trucks into moving trucks, with 24-hours notice, was an act of compassion, that we will remember,” she said.

“My kids and I were homeless for 3 months.  Now with all this beautiful furniture, it really feels like home,” added the recipient.

The Green Coast team loves to support community; it’s one of our core values and there is no better feeling than giving back and helping to make dreams come true. We are involved in supporting several local community groups, including Shelter to Home, and regularly volunteer our time as well as sponsoring many local fundraisers and community initiatives. Visit our Community page to find out more about what we’ve been up to lately!

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