In Renesting’s first year serving clients, we received a donation of a very large, very beautiful purple sofa, it took about three people to move. Back then we were operating out of Asbury Methodist’s parking lot and loading a trailer every second Saturday to go Renest our clients.
This particular Saturday, our client was going to receive the purple sofa. Some were more excited than others to see it leave. Those responsible for lifting and moving the sofa were among the less excited, but it was loaded on to the trailer and hauled to the apartment complex.
Three flights of stairs later, three of our strongest dudes were fighting with our client’s doorway to get that sofa inside the apartment. The set up of the apartment meant her front door faced a wall- there was no walking straight in and entering at an angle resulted in a brief moment of the couch getting stuck. Downstairs, looking up through the banister, Noel watched in horror as she realized that this jewel of a couch would need to come back down the stairs, into the trailer, and out to Asbury. The volunteers doing the lifting were not pleased, to say the least.
That day, Renesting site visits were born.
The purple sofa taught us that when we are delivering furniture we need to know what we’re walking into… or up. We now have a site visit protocol that prevents any mishaps like the one of the purple sofa. On the Wednesday before second Saturday, Noel and another staff member or a volunteer will visit all the homes of the clients we plan to serve. This allows us to see first hand how many flights of stairs volunteers may have to climb, or if there are any difficult entryways or narrow elevators that might prevent bigger pieces from making it inside the client’s abode.
And don’t worry, a few weeks after that initial incident, we served a client whose favorite color was purple and she was beyond ecstatic to receive the purple sofa. Photos of the mystical sofa are lost to time, but the lessons have not been forgotten. 😉