The Green Chair Project is helping families in need.

By Grace Haynes
Updated July 08, 2020
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Jackie Craig The Green Chair Project
Credit: Tyler Cunningham

Ten years ago, friends Jackie Craig and Beth Smoot started collecting extra household items in a closet at their church in Raleigh, North Carolina. They saw an unmet need in their community to provide home furnishings for people transitioning out of homelessness. The pair quickly grew out of their closet space and founded The Green Chair Project, a nonprofit that reuses donated furniture and household items to renew lives of those in need. “Home isn’t just having a roof over your head. It’s about the things in it that help feed you and comfort you. It’s furniture to provide community and the tools needed to produce a healthy, sustainable lifestyle,” says Craig, the organization’s executive director.

At The Green Chair Project’s 32,000-square-foot facility, people get an opportunity to pick out furnishings for their entire home. “We’ve served and furnished thousands of homes for people or families who are transitioning out of homelessness as well as women fleeing domestic violence, kids who are aging out of foster care, refugees, and people who are starting over after a natural disaster or fire destroyed their home,” she says.

The Green Chair Project
Credit: HagerSmith Design

The COVID-19 pandemic has put in-person visits to the showroom on hold, but The Green Chair Project hasn’t stopped providing for those in need. “We realized during COVID-19 more than ever, some of the greatest need lies with the children in our community. There are over 6,000 kids in our county who don’t have a bed of their own. We work with the local school system to identify those children, and in turn, we provide a brand-new bed and bedding with no charge,” says Craig. The Green Chair Project has found safe, socially distant ways to deliver beds for children and furnishings for their families. Additionally, the organization partners with other local nonprofits to deliver food, school supplies, hygiene items, and clothing to these families at this critical time. During the coronavirus pandemic, The Green Chair Project has provided beds or cribs to over 500 children. 

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“In addition to helping families in Raleigh, we’re also actively serving people who were affected by Hurricane Florence in 2018. The recovery is still going on. Many people are just now getting into their homes after almost two years. We deliver household essentials to the coast of North Carolina,” Craig says. The Green Chair Project has furnished over 500 households that were victims of Hurricane Florence.