Gathering to Furnish Homes with Hope
“Grateful Gatherings connects people who have extra with those who are in a time in their life when they could use a little help from a friend.”
Several times a year, Grateful Gatherings identifies families in need (e.g. families transitioning out of homelessness, refugee families, foster children aging out of the system, military veterans) and the furniture and household items they need to set up their homes (e.g. linens, kitchenware, sofa, etc.). The organization announces this list along with when and where the “grateful gathering” will occur. On that day, people bring their donations; volunteers collect and sort the items, and they load up a truck and deliver the items to family.
Grateful Gatherings began in 2013 when co-founder Donna Somerville and her family connected with a homeless family through a local news piece on homelessness during the holidays. The family was placed in a new apartment a few months later, but they did not have anything to furnish it. When Donna heard this, she pulled together several friends and donations, and together they were able to provide furniture and household items for the family within four days.
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation helped to incubate this program by hosting a Grateful Gatherings Fund while it worked to receive its 501(c)(3) status. Grateful Gatherings has since become a nonprofit organization, serving multiple counties in the Bay Area, with the support of volunteers, donors, and corporate partners. We at PVF are always excited to see entire apartments brought to life when Grateful Gatherings volunteers contribute everything needed for day-to-day family living.