Clean out your attic or garage and help someone at the same time. Your unused furniture and home accessories can bring hope to children, families and seniors served by Baptist Children’s Home.
Bring your gently-used furniture items and home decor to Fancy Finds Spring Cleaning Furniture Drive, set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, April 2, at Mills Home, 500 Biggs Ave., Thomasville.
With a unique talent for repurposing and recycling, Renee Gregory has focused her abilities into Fancy Finds, a recycling effort that ultimately enriches the lives of children and families, developmentally disabled adults, single mothers and children and aging adults.
According to Gregory, she has always loved recycling, crafting, and do-it-yourself activities. It’s a skill inherited from her mom.
In her workshop, Gregory finds it therapeutic to strip off worn layers of paint, refinish and reupholster and apply finishing touches, making objects beautiful and useful again.
“My mother never threw anything out,” she said. “She would save string and ribbon from packages. With seven kids and only one working parent it was out of necessity but she also had that love of taking something other people may have thrown out and re-using it.”
Gregory cities the family bassinet that her mother received as a gift as a young married woman from her mother.
“It was one of the few new items she received,” she recalled. “It’s been passed down and every time it was used it was painted or refurbished in a different way. My oldest sister is 52 years old, and she just held onto it.
“It’s such a blessing to have those memories and look at pictures of the babies who occupied that bassinet. It held seven children, 25 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, so far. Each time, we get to share the tradition with the newest member of the family.”
Gregory ramped up her green, do-it-yourself hobby after moving to North Carolina from Long Island in 2005.
“I’ve been doing it pretty much my entire life,” said Gregory, who increased sales at a Habitat for Humanity Re-Store by offering refurbished items for sale.
For three years, Gregory worked alone to uncover the dazzling potential in each discarded object, selling her creations at several group locations.
She plans to open her first upscale resale brick-and-mortar store June 18 on the campus of Mills Home in Thomasville.
Gregory shares her talent in other ways, conducting furniture restoration workshops for crafters, workplace teams and single moms. She also travels around the state conducting estate sales, a service that has her calendar filled into the summer.
“Typically we stage and price everything,” she said. “We tell them, go to the spa or go on vacation. For the items that have not sold, we can suggest local charities or we can take the items. We get a percentage of the sales, or if they chose to, they donate 100 percent of the profits.”
“A lot of people like the idea that not only are they able to move out items no one wants, they are able to support a life-changing cause. They are actually making a difference in people’s lives.”
The Fancy Finds spring cleaning event offers a similar opportunity to clean out your garage or attic and offer hope to individuals through Baptist Children’s Home programs.
“There will be help to unload items,” said Gregory. “If people have items that are too hard for them to bring in we can arrange for a pickup at another time. You can unload your items and receive tax benefits for your donation.”
Preferred items include end tables, night stands, dining room tables, chairs, decor items, pictures, vases and other furniture and home decor items.
For more information visit fancyfinds.org, like Fancy Finds NC on Facebook or call 704-909-8223.
“We’ll be set up at the circle drive,” said Gregory. “They can pull in, drop off and pull out.”
Thomasville Times Staff writer Debbie Hightower may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-888-3576.