Venezuelan Family Gets New Start; Andres is Amazed at Kindness of Strangers

Andres loves his new chair from The Green Chair Project

“We have never received such kindness,” said Andres, a father who was recently able to get his family out of Venezuela and come to the U.S. There, he had a job and a house. With a college education and a career, he could provide for his family.

Here in North Carolina, he has a new life. Thanks to Green Chair volunteer Susan Ricks, and White Memorial Presbyterian Church, Andres and his wife were able to bring their family here to shop for essential furnishings.

When Susan visited their apartment, she said, “All they had was two blow-up mattresses. Not a chair or a table. Nothing.” Now, thanks to our Sweeter Dreams bed program, both boys have a new bed to sleep in. And the family has a chair and couch for resting, and a table for sharing a meal.

“I have no words of thanks for this humble gift for my family,” said Andres.

Andres and his wife were so grateful, in fact, that he returned to The Green Chair and prepared a meal for the staff.

“Now we have the satisfaction of placing ourselves as those who give,” he said.

Hidden Message Reveals Family History of Donated Dresser

Every piece of furniture donated has a story. Imagine our surprise when we found a hidden message under the drawer of this hand-made dresser!

Our logistics coordinator John Dunlap was refurbishing this dresser and discovered the hand-written message, explaining that this chest was made by Richard Morse Chapin, 1928-2016. It says, “Richard was a furniture designer who built this chest for his son’s clothes. He was a kind and gentle man.” This brought tears to our eyes!

We wanted to know who Richard Chapin was, so we did a little research. Richard was a furniture designer in New York in the 1950’s then opened his own firm, Chapin Designs, in Charlotte in 1966. He helped found the American Society of Furniture Designers and served as president in 1985-86. He spent three years in the Navy, was passionate about sailing and was an accomplished musician. And he built this beautiful chest!

John sanded the drawers, top and side and brought it back to life so someone else can use it for another 50 years. He even added his own message for the new owner. Just last week, this dresser was chosen from our showroom and went home with someone from our partner SouthLight Healthcare who is getting a new start a new life.

The Green Chair Project: more than a store–a story. To Richard’s family for giving us this gift, and to David Chapin who wrote this message, thank you. When you donate something with meaning to The Green Chair Project, you know it’s going to a good home.