News | July 12, 2016

Old furniture gets new life helping less fortunate

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

Hundreds of pieces of used barracks furniture will be offered to those in need instead of lying in a landfill thanks to the teamwork between the Defense Logistics Agency, Marine Corps Base Hawaii and a local charity.

Partnering with the Marine Corps, the staff at the DLA Disposition Services site at Pearl Harbor was able to provide 407 pieces of barracks furniture no longer needed by the base to Helping Hands Hawaii. The DLA employees coordinated with the General Services Administration for permission to donate the items to the charity in lieu of disposing of the items as waste. The furniture included a wide variety of items such as bed frames, sofas, hutches, chairs, desks, and tables.

“It felt great knowing that the … furniture would be put to good use instead of being disposed of in a landfill,” said Karen Balabis, Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s solid waste/spill response coordinator. “Russell, from Helping Hands, was very appreciative of the furniture that we were donating and he thanked us many times as the truck was being loaded.” 

Property Disposal Specialist Gilbert Delagente said the DLA staff also found it “gratifying” that so much furniture could be reused “to help our … homeless and the less fortunate people in Hawaii.” He added that the staff hopes it will have the opportunity to make more donations like this one in the future.

Maria Vuong with Helping Hands Hawaii’s Community Clearinghouse said the furniture received is great and mentioned that some of the single arm chairs have gone to the charity’s Housing First program that helps house the chronically homeless while sofa bed couches have gone to families that either had no beds or were sleeping on the floor.

“We are looking to our partners to help place the bed frames as well as the secretaries, since school will be starting soon,” Vuong said. “Hopefully, our families who access our warehouse can use those desks. Again thank you for being so flexible with this donation!”