Designing Station gives furniture to make a house a home

3 Degree Guarantee

Hurricanes Matthew, Florence and Michael had major impacts across North Carolina the past few years. Some residents had their houses destroyed, but others lost everything and may not have a way to recover the losses.

That’s where Designing Station comes in to help make a building with a roof and walls feel like a home again for families in need in Cumberland and Robeson County.

Designing Station is also the CBS 17 3-Degree Guarantee charity for the month of October. Every night during the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts, the CBS 17 Storm Team shows how accurate its forecast was from the day before. If the forecast is correct within three degrees (plus or minus), CBS 17 donates $50 to a charity. Allen Kelly & Co. match that donation.

At the end of the month, the money is donated to the selected charity in the form of one of those giant checks seen on TV.

After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, founder Cheri Smith realized she needed to take her interior designing talents and use them to help others. For a while, she worked out of her garage, helping others who were recovering from disasters, coming out of homelessness, or escaping domestic violence.

A message from God and a gift from a local church of a 10,000-foot warehouse in 2012 led to the beginning of the Designing Station Furniture Bank. They help clients from 60 agencies from their warehouse, and after a hug and some minor paperwork, it’s time to shop.

Volunteer Diana Lawson knows exactly what Designing Station clients are going through. She and her husband lost nearly everything during military cutbacks years ago. Before that, she lost everything in an apartment fire.

“When our clients come in here they can see it’s home and how it’s going to look in their home, not just a warehouse,” Lawson said.

Cheri Smith once had dreams of being an interior designer for Oprah Winfrey, but now gets joy helping others in need design their home.

“You don’t want it to just be a house. You want it to be a home; a place where you can relax after a hard day of work, where your kids can go to the table to eat together, and then they can go to their beds and get a good night sleep,” Smith said.

Designing Station is always looking for new volunteers and furniture donations. Mattresses, dressers, tables and a place to sit is what most people are looking for, but Designing Station doesn’t want junk.

“We want to make sure it’s not going to fall apart tomorrow,” Smith said. “That it is going to feel like home (and) they don’t have to worry about furniture for quite some time.”

To learn more about Designing Station and how you can help or donate furniture, please visit their website.

If you have a charity you would like us to consider, we only ask that the charity be in good standing and be designated a 501(c)3 non-profit by the IRS.

Please email your nominations to

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