Thursday, May 03, 2007


On Tuesday, May 1, several Toronto POC (Professional Organizers in Canada) members volunteered at a Toronto NOWeek (National Organizing Week) event, organizing a storage locker for Red Door Shelter.
Red Door collects donations of used furniture and household items, and distributes these items to clients (abused women or new immigrants) who are setting up new households. The storage locker was in desperate need of organizing: it was full-to-bursting with mattresses, beds, dressers, chairs, sofas, and tables which had been piled haphazardly without any order.

TPOC members (left to right in photo above) Aleya Gibson, Lilian O'Meara, myself, Karen Shinn, and Helen Melbourne helped Red Door staff Nancy and Iris sort and purge the inventory.

Part-way through the day a scrap metal dealer named Michael Mazerolle (416-732-7910) showed up to carry away the metal trash, and happily he and his assistant were able to help us assemble some industrial shelving inside the storage locker, to hold small items like cushions and end tables.

Despite the chilly weather and the occasional sprinkle of rain, we were able to complete the sort and reorganize the locker by the end of the afternoon. Red Door driver Myaya, who delivers the furniture to its new homes, was there to see the final result and was very impressed by our work!

If you live in the Toronto area and have furniture to donate, Red Door picks up within the boundaries of Bathurst to the west, Highway 7 to the north, Markham Road to the east, and the lake to the south. Their contact number is: 416-915-5671 ext. 222.

A couple of things I learned during this project:
  1. Please don't donate crappy stuff to charities. They probably can't use it. If you wouldn't give it to a friend, don't think that someone less fortunate than you will be happy to have it.

  2. Volunteering on a project like this with other POC members is a lot of fun! We all have different organizing styles, but it's great to see how other people work, and it's wonderful to make connections and build relationships with colleagues.

copyright 2007, Michelle Lynne Goodfellow

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