Help local nonprofit wrap families in need in warmth

Usually a Bloomington warehouse is filled with household items like mattresses, furniture and housewares.

But lately there are lots of empty shelves that could be used to help families in need.

"We are no longer flush with furniture and housewares. The need has continued to grow, and our donation levels are going down right now. They are not matching up," said Diana Dalsin, Community Relations Manager for Bridging.

The furniture bank helps 100 families a week, who earn less than 20,000 dollars a year, make their new stable housing feel like home sweet home.

But the nonprofit says its inventory is at a five-year low because people have finished cleaning out their houses during the pandemic, supply chain issues have caused a drop in donations from retailers, and a growing number of immigrant families, including from the Afghan refugee crisis, have turned to them for help.

"We need people to dig deeper, and start pulling things from their homes and spreading the word because without inventory, we cannot serve clients," said Dalsin.

Diana Dalsin, Community Relations Manager for Bridging, says that the warehouse is at a five-year low for donations. A blanket drive is being held to try to help with that. (FOX 9)

Blanket drive

Bridging is holding a blanket drive this weekend to collect 10,000 new and gently used blankets to help keep its clients warm this winter.

Right now, families are waiting four to six weeks, instead of the usual two to three weeks, to get an appointment; and without more donations they may have to wait even longer.

"If this continues we are going to be well over six weeks, which is too long to wait in a home with nothing in it," said Dalsin.

And Bridging doesn't want to cut the number of families it can furnish with hope.

"We need people to say to their friends and neighbors and your family 'Do you know about bridging?' 'Do you know what they take?' Because if we don't get loud, we stay quiet and no one is going to do it and that would force us to make some difficult decisions," said Dalsin.

When and where to donate blankets

You can bring a blanket for Bridging to any of these four Original Mattress Factory locations across the metro from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 15.

  • Eagan: Yankee Square – 1454 Yankee Doodle Rd, Eagan, MN
  • Maplewood: 1261 East State Hwy 36 Service Rd, Maplewood, MN
  • Minnetonka: Ridge Square North – 13009 Ridgedale Dr, Minnetonka, MN
  • Shakopee: 8034 Old Carriage Ct North, Shakopee, MN

The organization says all sizes are needed, especially queen-sized blankets. Gently used and new items accepted, but donations should be free of rips, stains, strong odors, and/or pet hair.

For more information, click here