For the 27th year, Walker Furniture’s “Home For The Holidays” program is assistingindividuals and families in need in Clark County, Nev. Due to the pandemic, safety precautions with COVID-19 have made some changes necessary. “Pandemic or not Walker will deliver 35 housefuls of furniture for those in need,” said Larry Alterwitz owner. “However, due to the severity of the pandemic we will not be able to complete all 35 home deliveries before Christmas.”
“The ‘Home For The Holidays’ program involves volunteers from Helping Hands of Vegas Valley reading all the letters and sending expertly trained staff to make home visits to identify and evaluate the nominated family’s genuine need,” said Alterwitz. “This is labor intensive and problematic for volunteers and families possibly being subjected to the virus.”
The first five deliveries were made to families submitted by community partners, who already knew each situation firsthand. Every family needed furniture. Two families lost their furniture in fires; one condition was a mother with two children and another a veteran with a wife, three kids and pets. One gentleman living alone who suffers from depression has cancer and lost his job. One family with five children between the ages one to eight had their kids sharing one mattress. Another lady lost her husband of 50 years, had her dog murdered, and is raising grandchildren include two infant great grandsons.
“While it has been a rough year for everyone, some folks need an extra hand up and we’re in the furniture business,” said Alterwitz, “It brings us joy to be able to help.”
The delivery experience for the media this year changed due to the virus. The furniture has been unloaded outside for the family to see and all to experience some happiness. This way the recipients have been able to social distance and meet masked representatives from Walker Furniture, Helping Hands of Vegas Valley, Las Vegas Rescue Mission which supplies food and toys, and Star Nursery which provides a Christmas tree and poinsettias along with gift card support from other giving vendors and community entities. Afterwards, Walker’s drivers move the furniture inside and complete the delivery.
“In order to make the remaining deliveries, Walker will look for opportune times in the new year when deliveries will be safe,” continued Alterwitz. “This change will allow Helping Hands to read the letters and make visits, and for the final review by the outside Executive Committee comprised of Mayor Carolyn Goodman, other community leaders, and local media personalities.
We are also extending the deadline to submit letters through Dec. 25.”
Letters may be submitted online at Walker Furniture’s website or emailed. (Letters can also be mailed or dropped off to Walker Furniture’s MLK store 301 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89106 or the Henderson location at 671 Marks Street, Henderson NV 89014)