We Are Here Foundation donates furniture to GPPSS

GROSSE POINTE CITY / WOODS – While the administrators of Grosse Pointe’s public school system prepare to move to their new central offices in September, a local nonprofit is helping them through the process.

As part of the referendum on bonds worth $ 111,040,000, administrative staff will move from its current administrative building on St. Clair Ave. 389 in Grosse Pointe City to Grosse Pointe North High School at Vernier Road 707 in Grosse Pointe Woods.

The We Are Here Foundation, based in Mount Clemens, has donated a range of brand new pieces of furniture for the new central offices in North. The foundation donated approximately 20 Allsteel workstations and a 12-foot conference room table with 10 chairs. One of the district bond owners contacted representatives from the We Are Here Foundation to facilitate the donations.

“We knew we needed our new administrative offices at North High School,” said Amanda Matheson, assistant superintendent of business operations at GPPSS. “The furniture we currently have and the layout wouldn’t all fit. Much of our furniture is older and has significantly exceeded its useful life. “

The current furniture is bulky. The donated furniture is more modern and matches the layout of the new offices. Bond contractors measured the donated furniture to ensure it would fit into the new office space to the north. With the new furniture, school officials will not have to use general funds, so the donations will give the district a financial break.

“It frees up resources that can be used in other areas,” said Matheson.

Once the new furniture is assembled and installed, the school officials auction the old furniture online. If the furniture is not offered, the furniture will be disposed of.

The We Are Here Foundation is a volunteer organization that donates new school and office furniture to districts, churches, and nonprofits in southeast Michigan. The American office retail company Staples is the foundation’s corporate partner and donates all furniture to the We Are Here Foundation. The nonprofit will then provide the donated desks, chairs, tables, whiteboards, filing cabinets, and more. Many items are new and some are used gently.

“Staples is donating to us,” said Thomas Cleaver, founder and manager of the We Are Here Foundation. “We are all volunteers. We fulfill large orders and small orders. “

The main source of income for the foundation are donated boats. The nonprofit has a warehouse in St. Clair Shores that stores much, but not all, of the furniture. Volunteers repair the boats and then sell them. While the furniture is being donated, the money from the boat sale pays the moving costs.

“We pay for the trucks and the moving companies,” said Cleaver. “No school ever pays a dime for anything. We just ask if they can unload the truck. “

Last year, Cleaver said, the foundation received 25 donated boats.

“We picked up and fixed the boats,” said Cleaver. For example, a boat cost a total of $ 5,000 in repairs and sold for $ 15,000, bringing the organization to a profit of $ 10,000.

The donated furniture for Grosse Pointe is currently being stored at a Staples location until it is ready for use this September. In addition to the GPPSS, the We Are Here Foundation also donated furniture to the Detroit Public Schools.

The We Are Here Foundation is also funding the annual sea coast cleanup, due to take place on May 23 this year. For more information on the event, please visit the St. Clair Shores Waterfront Environmental Committee website at www.scswec.org.

For more information about the We Are Here Foundation or to make a donation, call (586) 463-9400 or email Tom Cleaver at [email protected] The website address is www.weareherefoundation.org.

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