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Connecticut Families: Professionals organize warehouse of donations for families transitioning from homelessness

Connecticut Families

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Volunteers are hard at work deciding “keep?” or “toss out?”

“We pulled everything out and put it in the review zone,” explains project organizer Leslie Raycraft. “Then they kind of figure out how much space do I need in the warehouse?”

Every summer, the Connecticut chapter of NAPO – the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professions – embarks on a makeover project. This year, the mission is charitable.

The organizers are organizing this warehouse for Journey Home which helps families transition from homelessness to apartment living.

“They’re in a shelter, on the streets or maybe in their car, and they just don’t have household goods,” says volunteer Todd Polley, noting that donations from local residents are key. But Raycraft says donating personal belongings can be difficult for many people. “As a professional organizer, we’re there to help them let go of things and they don’t want to – it’s so hard,” she says. “Then I start chatting about Journey Home and they’re like, ‘OK, you know those dishes? I can let them go.'”

But the warehouse had gotten out of control.

“People would donate all this stuff – the lemon grater, the china – and we don’t need that to set up a basic household,” says Raycraft, noting that the professionals are lending their touch to promote efficiency.

“What’s unique this year is that we’re not only de-cluttering and setting up structures but we’re actually working out a system so they can keep this place organized,” says Matt Baier, President of NAPO-CT.

A better work flow means more help for families. A comfortable living space can jump start a productive future. “We have a saying, ‘Making a House a Home,” says Polley. “A lot of times we don’t feel we deliver just a couch but some dignity.”

Click here to learn more about how you can donate to Journey Home.

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