LOCAL NON-PROFIT USING FURNITURE TO IMPROVE LIVES
By Maura Christie | February 17, 2018 @5:02 PM
Nadine Mastroleo grew up in Buffalo. After her parents passed away, she wanted to follow their wishes and donate their belongings.
"I think the main reason is because my parents literally have always wanted to do good things to help other people that maybe needed a little bit of extra help at a time. So one of the things we decided was let's find a group, an organization that can really benefit from all the efforts my parents put into kind of establishing a really good life for me and my sister," she said.
And with a little help from the city of good neighbors, she found UPward Design For Life.
"UPward Design For Life is a non-profit organization that basically furnishes homes and transforms lives for those in need. So if people are transitioning from homeless shelters, domestic violence situations, people who just need help, refugees reestablishing themselves here, veterans and children. That's the type of client that we serve," said founder Dionne Williamson.
Williamson wants to use her love of interior design to show people you don't need a lot of money to create a comfortable and safe place.
"So our goal is not to provide a hand out, it's not a hand out I always say it's a hand upward. So we're here to help those who are already trying to help themselves but just need a little extra help," she said.
Gently used furniture and other household items are donated from people who no longer have use for them.
Williamson said, "For those who are donating, it's really something special to them because they see the value and what, what this can bring to someone in need."
For Mastroleo, she wants other families to cherish traditions like her family did.
"My family was really big on having dinners together and so I have this vision of our dining room table being set up, and having a family meal and talking about their day and learning from each other and that's what we used to do. And so to me, I'm paying it forward in some ways."