Clearing Out Old Furniture? Use it to Make a Difference

A move to a new home is often a time for discarding old furniture. Usually that involves selling for cheap on Craigslist, donating to a place like Goodwill (which may not actually benefit the community all that much), or simply dumping your things on the curb. 

Next time you or a friend find yourself needing to unload some old furniture, art, or knick-knacks, consider doing something that makes a serious impact on the neediest members of the Buffalo community. Consider donating to Upward Design for Life. 


Dionne Williamson, a certified interior design consultant, founded Upward Design for Life as a way of putting her design skills to use for those in need - including refugee families, women and children escaping domestic violence, and people who have been homeless. She creates welcoming and comfortable spaces using donated furniture, rugs, wall decor, lamps, and other accessories. 

Clients are referred to Upward Design for Life by local agencies (like Child and Family Services, and the Family Justice Center). Dionne and her team meet with these individuals and families, discuss their needs and set a date to transform their home. On transformation day, clients leave their home - usually for a fun field trip to the Buffalo Museum of Science. They return to a space that is fully furnished, decorated, and ready to be called home. 

Upward Design for Life also educates clients on housekeeping, organization, the dangers of lead poisoning, and creating spaces for children conducive to studying and creative play. 

If you're interested in donating your old furniture to Upward Design for Life, check out

Margaret Healy