Walker Furniture marks its 30th season of giving

By Alan Wolf, YSN

For the past 29 Decembers, Walker Furniture & Mattress has provided in-need households with enough furniture to fill a home.

This year is no different.

Owner Larry Alterwitz launched his store’s “Home for the Holidays” program in 1993 by donating home furnishings to 12 disadvantaged families. The wares, which are awarded based on recommendations from community members, have since been extended to 35 families and individuals each year.

Over the decades, the initiative has proven itself “life altering for folks who, for a myriad of unfortunate situations, have found themselves in distress and needing furniture,” Alterwitz said.

See: Walker Furniture Delivers Hope

The BrandSource member, which has been serving Las Vegas since 1955, begins accepting recommendation letters in September. Submissions come from teachers, first responders, social service workers, healthcare professionals, clergy, neighbors, friends and family members, who detail the difficulties of potential recipients.

The letters are then reviewed by an independent panel, and final selections are made by an executive committee comprised of the mayor, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, community leaders and local media personalities.

This year’s 35 recipients were notified of their good fortune just prior to Christmas.

“I see a kind of magic begin to happen to recipients,” Alterwitz said. “What starts out as a dining room table suddenly becomes a sense of hope and pride. A sofa comes through the front door and is transformed into respect. A bedroom set changes a room into a place of inspiring dreams and endless possibilities.”

Thanks to the Alterwitz, more than 1,000 homes have been furnished since the program’s inception, giving down-on-their-luck families the foundation for a new path. In our book, that makes “Home for the Holidays” an especially auspicious bet.

YSN publisher AVB BrandSource is the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.

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