How a gift of furniture gave one woman hope for the future
Heidi found out how one decision spiraled downward into being on the streets not long ago. She is a native Wisconsinite who uprooted herself for what she thought was love. She married a Minnesotan man, and moved in with him. Not long afterwards, she found out that he was verbally and physically abusive, and she become addicted to alcohol in order to cope.
She was abused, and had no one to help her.
Not long after her marriage, she also became pregnant with her daughter. She became very ill and went from hospital to hospital, and found another way to escape her husband, through painkillers.
“It was at this point, I knew that I needed to get away from him.” Heidi said. “When I left, I found out that he took away every friend that I thought I had. I was completely alone.”
It was at this point she found herself in living in homeless shelters and halfway houses. Heidi, however, was bound and determined to get sober and see her daughter.
“It’s hard to hang onto hope when you’re surrounded by hopeless people,” Heidi said. “But every- where I went, there was at least a few people who gave me a glimpse of how there are still good people in the world.”
She became sober, and worked her way off the street, and into an apartment in Roseville, Minne- sota. Her daughter, Katie, was now able to join her. However, while she had more than enough love to give Katie, what she lacked was furniture.
“I had no money to buy anything,” Heidi said. “For eight months, we slept on the floor.”
That’s when satintouch learned about her situation. Through the trash out service, the company acquires and becomes the owner of abandoned furniture from evictions.
Founder Chad Lange offered to furnish the apartment completely for free.
“Whenever we can help out people in our community find a little hope, satintouch will be there to help in any way we can,” Founder Lange said. “It’s the least we can do to make this world a little brighter for everyone.”
Heidi vividly remembers crying when satintouch Detailers carried in their first bed.
satintouch provided all of the necessary furniture to help Heidi and her daughter. “It was more about my daughter than me. I worked so hard to provide for my daughter.”
She said. “This act of kindness gave me such hope for the future.”
Today Heidi and Katie are doing great. Heidi’s working hard and earning enough that she can now give back to others, continuing the cycle started by satintouch.
“When I was in need, someone helped me out, and I’m happy to see that my daughter sees that example.” Heidi said. “satintouch gave me hope and the energy to work harder so I could give that feeling to someone.”
And she does. When they moved into a new apartment, she gave furniture to a family in need, including a bunk bed for two kids who had to sleep in the same bed. And, she continues to give furniture to neighbors in need after refinishing them.
Heidi is continuing the cycle of giving that started with a gift of furniture.
“Because of what I’ve been through, I’ve become a better mom and member of my community.” She said.
Heidi dedicates her evenings and weekends to speaking and sharing her story at women’s shelters and treatment centers around the Twin Cities.
And, even though her story involves her receiving furniture, the one lesson Heidi wants her daughter to learn from her experience is that “things come and go, that stuff is just stuff, but it’s the act of giving that matters.”
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