Partners include Helping Hands of Vegas Valley, Star Nursery and Las Vegas Rescue Mission
By Debbie Hall
Since 1994, Walker Furniture has helped make the holidays brighter for families in need with its Home for the Holidays program. A family owned and operated retailer, Walker Furniture has been in business since 1960 and owned by the Alterwitz family since 1973. With the need so great, Walker Furniture, along with partners Helping Hands of Vegas Valley, Star Nursery and Las Vegas Rescue Mission, will make the holidays and upcoming New Year brighter for 30 families.
The program will donate furnishings for a living room, dining room, master suite and bedroom sets with bedding for each of the children in the home. “It is an amazing program that I have worked on for the past 15 years,” said Patti Gerace, marketing director of Walker Furniture. “It is the most rewarding thing we do here at Walker Furniture. Even during the recession, we continued to deliver furniture to the families that needed it.” All of the staff, including buyers, delivery people and management, work hard to make the program special and, according to Gerace, will continue as long as Walker Furniture is in business.
Recipients have included single-parent households having difficulty making ends meet, many of them with children suffering from physical or mental disorders; families that lost their homes and belongings to fires; and families that have been affected by illness or domestic violence. All letters are reviewed by an outside, independent panel including representatives from Helping Hands of Vegas Valley (hhovv.org).
In fact, this is first year Helping Hands has been involved with the program. “We have been of service to the community for 15 years helping seniors, and for us it is an honor to be part of this program and extend more into the community,” said Dana Serrata, executive director of Helping Hands of Vegas Valley.
Along with furnishings, Star Nursery (starnursery.com) will be donating Christmas trees to the families. This is also the first year Star Nursery has been part of Home for the Holidays. “It is a great program that has been around for a long time,” said Paul Noe, staff horticulturist with Star Nursery. “We were looking for some way to get involved with donating Christmas trees, and this was a great fit.” A premium 5- to 6-foot tree will be delivered throughout the holiday season to the selected families. Donations of gift cards are being collected at all Star Nursery stores as well to also donate to the families.
It will be the fourth year the Las Vegas Rescue Mission (vegasrescue.org) has partnered with Home for the Holidays. “I found out about the Home for the Holidays program and thought, wouldn’t it be great to provide gifts for the children during the holidays?” explained Shannon Mengel, assistant director of development. She reached out to Gerace of Walker Furniture, and now the Mission provides toys, bikes and food to the families. “We are so thrilled that Star Nursery is donating trees. All of this showcases how nonprofits and for-profits can work together to help the less fortunate in the community.”
“It is such an honor to be part of this program. This changes lives and gives hope for the future. It is an amazing feeling. We are so thankful to the community for being a part of this program,” said Gerace.
Letters to nominate a family for the Home for the Holidays program will be accepted through Dec. 7. The letter can be mailed, dropped off in person, emailed or submitted online. Visit wlkerfurniturehomefortheholidays.com for more information.
301 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89106