Style and shelter combine for perfect charity combination

Women’s issues and interior design came together last week at Design Blast, a fundraiser for women’s shelter Interval House.

The event took place at the Umbra concept store at Queen and John streets in Toronto, the flagship showcase for the internationally reknowned furniture brand.

Paul Rowan, Umbra Ltd. co-founder and vice-president, said their relationship with Interval house has grown quickly. One reason, he said, is that it’s important for those women leaving the comfort of Interval House to have furniture in their new homes that provide style as well as function.

“There is a real need for items,” Rowan said, “You have these women fleeing in the middle of the night with nothing, so this is a perfect opportunity for us to help them into their new lives.”

Interval House’s community programs manager, Elly Everick, said in an email that Umbra has been very forthcoming with providing quality items.

“The partnership we have with Umbra is a donation program.” Everick said.  “Umbra has been donating discontinued/over stocked items to our B.E.S.S. (Building Economic Self Sufficiency) program’s furniture bank.  We in turn distribute the items to our clients from our community programs who are rebuilding their lives.”

Everick also maintained the importance of the women being able to comfortably transition into their new homes considering the extent of the hardships they have endured.

“Many of the women who leave the shelter are in need of added support as they move into their new homes.” she said,

“Interval House accepts donations of furniture from local business and community members on behalf of the women who are moving from the shelter into their own units in the community.”

The donations have been well received by the women who use Interval House’ services; according to Everick, clients are always praising the furniture being donated by places like Umbra.

The names of the clients have been withheld for security purposes.  One woman said, “it’s really great to get something new. The curtains will make my whole apartment look beautiful.”

Another said, “(I) appreciate all the support that Interval House has provided for me, the beautiful frames, the furniture and the moral support!  Invaluable!!!”

For more information on Interval House you can reach them at (416) 924-1411 or you can visit their website at