CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Hilton Garden Inn on Emily Drive began renovating its hotel rooms, starting on the fifth floor in February. With moving new furniture in, the previous furniture needed somewhere to go.
The news of renovating the hotel rooms came back in November 2022, and Director of Sales, Lisa Sutton learned that the furniture on all five floors would be taken to a landfill. Instead of throwing all the old furniture away, Sutton asked her boss if the hotel could find places of need in the community and invest the pieces there, and they agreed.
As of May 10, more than 1,000 pieces of furniture have been rehomed, with only 17 pieces still remaining. With all five floors included, Sutton told 12 News that by the end of the project, 3,000 pieces will be donated altogether. Sutton said in an interview that most West Virginians aren’t naturally wasteful.
“I just feel like frugal living is just good stewardship and that’s really how most of West Virginia lives anyway. So it’s really not even – it’s just a natural thought process – it’s not like ‘Oh gosh, let me think, what could we possibly?’ It wasn’t like that. It was like, ‘Well, don’t throw it away,’ you know? It was more like, ‘Oh no! We don’t do that in West Virginia!'”
Where It Goes
Some of the furniture has been donated to the Clarksburg Mustard Seed and Progressive Women’s Association (PWA) of Harrison County for distribution. Both reported that the furniture went out just as fast as it came in.
“We do see a significant increase in requests at the last half of the month,” said Dolores Yoke, the Mustard Seed’s Board President. “When your disability check or social security has all been spent, your food stamps are gone, you have no light in your house because your lamps are broken down, you have no lightbulbs, it’s amazing what people need. And so we see almost a 30% increase in people requesting help, the second half of the month.”
Elinda Carson, PWA’s Executive Director, said it was a great opportunity to continue on with their mission of helping people in the community. The organization’s center might even get a facelift by having some older furniture replaced.
Who It Is Helping
Heather Canaday and her boyfriend are one of the many families that have benefitted from the Inn’s renovation donation.
They currently staying with Canaday’s boyfriend’s mother to help take care of her, along with his nephew. Her boyfriend’s mother offered them the full space in her basement, but the couple had no furniture. It was perfect timing because shortly after, Canaday met Lisa Sutton through Elinda Carson, who is Canaday’s mother.
The couple is receiving chairs, lamps, an ottoman, a coffee cabinet, a desk, a desk chair, a few nightstands and occasional tables. “It’s giving us a place to make memories, and, like I said, we literally had nothing, so,” said Canaday. “And the furniture is great, it’s the most solid furniture I’ve ever owned in my life. It’s very solid, I think it’ll probably last us the rest of our life. It’s very nice furniture.”
All in all, Canaday, who also volunteers at the PWA, sees local family needs every day. She is happy to see that the 3,000 pieces of furniture will not be going to a landfill and is being put to good use. She also mentioned that she is looking forward to making memories with the family in their new furniture, and is thankful to have been considered through the renovation donation!
How To Help
So far, the organizations like PWA and the Clarksburg Mustard Seed have received lamps, desks, chairs, ottomans, side tables, and coffee stations. A lot of organizations in Harrison County work together to help fill the community’s needs. Other organizations, like the United Way of Harrison and Doddridge Counties and the Haven of Hope Worship Center, have also helped in loading things into trucks.
Sutton has a waitlist of more than 200 people for furniture and said that they continue to need all the help they can get in loading everything. If interested in helping, keep an eye on her Facebook for updates.
“Anybody that’s just willing to roll up their sleeves and just help load trucks, just be out here. You don’t have to represent, you know, a certain charity, just know that there are going to be trucks out here all afternoon that, a lot of them are charities, some are families, but they appreciate a little help.”