Where to Give Furniture in Pittsburgh
The Blessing Board will accept furniture donations for free or will arrange for a pickup for a fee.
The Blessing Board
The name of this Oakmont-based nonprofit organization refers to the original incarnation of the charity: an actual bulletin board.
Beginning in 2009 at Hebron Church in Penn Hills, a bulletin board listed two categories, “Blessings Needed” and “Blessings to Be Given,” hoping to link donors with those in need. Over the ensuing decade-plus, it has gradually grown from a bulletin board to warehouses full of furniture in both Oakmont and McKeesport.
“It’s an overlooked need,” says Rich Garland, executive director at The Blessing Board. “Everyone knows you need food, you need housing. But can you imagine having to furnish a new apartment coming right out of prison or a facility where you were dealing with addiction?”
For those with very limited means, he says, “Often, it’s either eat or furnish your house.”
As long as the furniture is in decent shape and free of serious issues (such as tears, pet stains, cigarette odor and mold), The Blessing Board will accept it via a drop-off at either location. They’ll also make a scheduled pick-up at a donor’s house or business for a fee.
Individuals and families in need who reach out to the faith-based organization will make an appointment at one of the locations for a day of fellowship and “shopping” — minus the checkout. All furniture, regardless of size, is provided to families free of charge.
The reasons individuals and families could find themselves suddenly in need are varied. “Unemployment. Women that are running from domestic abuse or divorce. Fire victims, flood victims,” Garland says, naming a few reasons. In many cases, it’s “those that are just … starting off in life, and they have an income, their first apartment, but don’t have the credit to furnish it and don’t have the family around them to share.”
Those without furniture to donate can either volunteer, make a monetary donation — Garland says financial giving is paramount, given the overhead of operating large warehouses — or shop at The Vintage Market, a shop at the Oakmont location that offers a small percentage of donated items as restored pieces; all proceeds from those sales benefit The Blessing Board as well.
How to Donate
- The Blessing Board is located at 140 Pennsylvania Ave. in Oakmont and at 820 Market St. in McKeesport. Furniture can be dropped off from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday in Oakmont and from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Thursday in McKeesport.
- Furniture pick-ups must be scheduled in advance, either by calling 412/828-1055 or filling out a donation form at:
- Dropping off furniture is free; there is a fee for transportation associated with furniture pick-ups, which varies based on the time and difficulty of the pick-up.
- Online donations can be made, and more information is available, at blessingboard.org.