Wayne Collin’s New and Used Furniture Collection and Giveaway has kept him busy for the last six years. His give away started when the rental company he was doing odd jobs for started asking him to take care of furniture people left behind. Often it was still in good shape and Collins wanted to recycle it rather than take it to the dump.
Many people in the community now know to give Collins a call after they’ve had a garage sale and have furniture they didn’t sell. He’ll come pick it up and find a new home for it.
“Come Monday they’ve got stuff left over, they call me. Their neighbour told them about me or their friend told them about me and that’s how [word] gets around,” he said.
“I enjoy helping people,” he said. Last year he helped a lot of people who came from Fort McMurray. He provided many of the families that came with the furniture they needed. “A few of them, when they went back, gave the stuff back so it’s been recycled several times,” he said.
Collins is clear the furniture is for people who need it, not to be resold or to redecorate your house.
”People go to Community Partners looking for [furniture] and they refer them to me, ” he said.
The number one need that people have is for beds. “I can’t keep beds at all. If someone is sleeping on the floor they’re happy to take what I have,” he said
Collins is well-supported by the community with the Gospel Chapel purchasing a huge Sea-Can for him in 2012 and Doug Borrowman giving him the space to park the container behind TD Bobcat. “It’s not just me,” he said in acknowledgement of all the people who help him keep the give away going.
The Sea-Can is pretty full when we go in to take a look. “I got quite a bit this morning and I’ve already given away quite a bit today,” he said. Today he gave away a love seat, a bookshelf, a dresser, and two or three little end tables. Sometimes he picks up furniture and other times people deliver furniture to him.
“I get some really nice stuff,” he said, working with me to pull a vintage wood frame couch off a pile of furniture so I can take a closer look. It’s in perfect condition. Someone called him and asked him to come pick it up. “People are generous. They give stuff away,” he said.
While he had a small dryer, microwave and TV in the container, he does not usually accept appliances as they are too heavy and he doesn’t have the space. Occasionally he’ll accept smaller appliances and if he can’t find homes for them right away, he takes them to the recycling centre. If you have furniture to donate give Collins a call at (403)598-3147.
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