GREENSBORO — It’s a favorite time of year for bargain hunters and those hiding behind the scenes, as the non-profit Barnabas Network unveils another home furnishings auction.
Workers are still opening boxes as they prepare for an online auction that includes leather sofas, lounge chairs and outdoor cooktops.
Clubs often bring “ahhs” and squeals of delight.
“I took a picture of it this morning,” an excited Judy Caldwell said of a mirrored chest of drawers.
Already unpacked is a sea of patio furniture.
The Barnabas network began when a mutual friend brought together Darnell Brame (who collected and distributed furniture in his garage) and Tim Patterson (then a priest at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church) whose ministry also helped those in need. The families traveling to Greensboro after Hurricane Katrina became the catalyst for the merging of the two efforts.
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Since then, The Barnabas Network has been like a furniture bank, offering new and lightly used equipment to those in need.
A preview of the Barnabas Network’s online furniture auction – which takes place every spring and includes items donated by manufacturers, retailers and suppliers – reflects what the nonprofit says is the more diverse than the group could show.
“They know the needs we’re meeting are greater than ever before,” Caldwell, the agency’s head of marketing and development, said of the donated items. She recorded a “window shopping” video with executive director Derrick Sides that will be uploaded to the nonprofit’s YouTube channel as the items go up for auction.
This year’s auction, with bidding from Saturday to April 2, features more than 500 new and like-new pieces.
In-person sailing times will be posted on the band’s website.
The Barnabas network reinjects the money it raises into a unique operation that appeals to the goodwill of the community.
The non-profit organization also collects “moderate use” items throughout the year into its nondescript warehouse so that families in crisis – homeless, fleeing domestic violence situations, recovering fire, resettling refugees – can buy the things they need.
“The auction puts fuel in our tanks so that we can pick up donated furniture and give away 8,000 pieces of it each year,” Sides explained. “You get a lot on beautiful pieces and your purchase helps restore lives right here in the community.”
The Barnabas Network’s “No Child Left on the Floor” campaign has provided hundreds of new mattresses and frames to families each year through referrals from Guilford County schools and social service agencies.
For the furniture auction, the items available are at what Caldwell says is a fraction of the cost if purchased from a retail store.
“Our typical bidder is anybody,” he said. “Bargain hunters. People finishing up a new house or apartment. Someone getting a fresh start.”
This “typical bidder” could also be you.
“Plan to join us,” Sides said, “and tell all your friends.”
Contact Nancy McLaughlin at 336-373-7049 and follow @nmclaughlinNR on Twitter.