Nonprofit provides furnishings to people transitioning from homelessness
CHICAGO — Grant Thornton LLP, one of America’s largest audit, tax and advisory firms, has named Digs with Dignity to its Purple Paladin program, which helps emerging nonprofit organizations move from “start-up to unstoppable.” As part of the program, Grant Thornton provides funding, business advice and volunteer support, while also helping nonprofits raise awareness of their work and mission.
Founded in 2019, Digs with Dignity elevates the lives of people transitioning from homelessness by filling their homes with everything they need to be comfortable. Kim Hannay, Jan Claibourne and Beth Wangman co-founded the organization because they believe an inviting, dignified home provides an immeasurable amount of hope, security and stability — and is the launchpad for success.
“Furnishing and decorating a home is a huge undertaking for people exiting homelessness, especially when they may have to balance kids, jobs and other life demands,” said Hannay, co-founder and executive director of Digs with Dignity. “By providing our families with fully-furnished spaces that restore pride in their surroundings, we give our clients the opportunity to focus on other barriers to getting back on their feet.”
Digs with Dignity partners with local social service agencies and utilizes donated furniture to create spaces that are functional, pleasant and reflective of each client’s personal style. The organization is able to furnish one home per week and has moved more than 100 families into new homes.
“Helping people furnish their homes, and in a way that is deeply personal to them, is all about helping them restart their lives,” said Seth Siegel, CEO at Grant Thornton. “We are honored to support Digs with Dignity’s efforts to create spaces that families can call home. Grant Thornton shares the organization’s passion for going beyond what’s expected in order to truly impact lives in the moments that matter.”
Siegel also commends Digs with Dignity for its commitment to zero waste sustainability. Donated goods fill the organization’s 9,000-square-foot warehouse space, where workers fix and refurbish furniture and home goods, giving dated or broken items a second life. These furnishings range from tables and chairs to bed frames and bookcases, to sofas and rugs. Digs with Dignity also provides items such as bedding, framed family photos, kitchen and bath necessities, books and toys. By upcycling donated furniture and home goods, Digs with Dignity keeps an average of 1,100 pounds of furniture per house from ending up in landfills.
To learn more about Digs with Dignity, visit digswithdignity.org.
Digs with Dignity joins 13 other nonprofits that Grant Thornton previously selected as Purple Paladins: Fair Opportunity Project, Free Mom Hugs, WeaveTales, Warrior Reunion Foundation, Go Team Therapy Dogs, Find Your Anchor, Foster Nation, Hope in a Box, Weird Enough Productions, Invisible Hands Deliver, Pal Experiences, Sneakers for Soldiers and Coming Up Rosies.
- Fair Opportunity Project is 501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers high-quality college counseling resources at no cost to aspiring students. To learn more, visit fairopportunityproject.org.
- Free Mom Hugs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that creates allies who support the LGBTQIA+ community through visibility, education and conversation. To learn more, visit freemomhugs.org.
- WeaveTales is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps refugees of all kinds share their stories via books, exhibits, films and other channels. To learn more, visit weavetales.org.
- Warrior Reunion Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that reconnects combat veterans via life-changing reunion experiences. All events are provided at no cost to those who attend. To learn more, visit warriorreunionfoundation.org.
- Go Team Therapy Dogs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that produces well-trained therapy dogs and places them at disaster sites, hospitals, and other places where they can offer comfort and care. To learn more, visit goteamdogs.org.
- Find Your Anchor is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on suicide prevention. To help people who are struggling to find hope, the organization creates and distributes boxes of curated items known as “anchors.” To learn more, visit findyouranchor.us.
- Foster Nation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps former foster youth overcome the challenges associated with ‘aging out’ of the foster-care system. To learn more, visit fosternation.org.
- Hope in a Box is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides educators with literature, detailed curriculums and coaching to improve classroom environments for LGBTQIA+ students. To learn more, visit hopeinabox.org.
- Weird Enough Productions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that develops free, interactive online content designed to combat media misrepresentations of minority communities. The organization is best known for its hallmark comic book series, “The UnCommons.” To learn more, visit weirdenough.com.
- Invisible Hands Deliver is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that taps more than 12,000 volunteers to deliver groceries, prescriptions, and other necessities to people vulnerable to COVID-19 and facing hunger insecurity — including the elderly, disabled and immunocompromised. To learn more, visit invisiblehandsdeliver.org.
- Pal Experiences is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people with non-visible disabilities — such as autism — have more inclusive experiences at museums, entertainment venues, sporting events and more. To learn more, visit palexperiences.org.
- Sneakers for Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides properly-fitted athletic shoes to deployed combat troops in all branches of the military. To learn more, visit sneakersforsoldiers.org.
- Coming Up Rosies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides “smile kits” to hospitals so children — particularly those suffering from hair loss — can engage in therapeutic art activities to create custom head scarves, neck scarves and superhero capes based on their own unique designs. To learn more, visit cominguprosies.com.
Grant Thornton’s Purple Paladins program derives its name from the word paladin, a champion of a cause. Grant Thornton and its professionals have donated more than $720,000 to Purple Paladin nonprofits, and more than 600 Grant Thornton professionals have volunteered their time and skills to support to the firm’s Purple Paladins.
To learn more about Purple Paladins, or to nominate a nonprofit for potential support, visit Grant Thornton’s website: www.grantthornton.com/PurplePaladins.
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