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Mattress Giveaway Aids Needy Westchester Families

Deshawn and Cassandra Manning will no longer have to tuck their four boys in on torn, dilapidated mattresses with springs poking out.

The Yonkers couple picked out a queen-sized mattress and four twin-sized beds for their sons during a mattress giveaway for needy families at the Furniture Sharehouse in White Plains this Thursday.

“It’s been a couple of years and we’ve just had the old stuff,” said Cassandra Manning, 32. “Now it feels like we’re living more than we’re just surviving.”

About 50 other families joined the Mannings at the Furniture Sharehouse, a nonprofit that distributes gently used furniture to struggling families in Westchester. The families left an old White Plains Airport building Thursday with 106 mattresses donated by Tempur-Pedic.

The Mannings, who have been married for 13 years, perused the warehouse for couches, dressers, a rug, and a kitchen table and chairs.

Their sons have been thrilled about getting new furniture ever since the family was referred to the Furniture Sharehouse by Building Bridges case manager Tom Brady about two months ago.

“‘When is it coming, when is it coming, when is it coming?’ My six-year old asks me every day,” said Cassandra Manning. “They were very enthused to know that we were going to come here today.”

A delivery man will drop off their furniture in the next few days. The Mannings then plan to break in their kitchen furniture with “dad’s favorite spaghetti” recipe.

“To be able to sit down and have a meal together will be great,” said Cassandra Manning. “When I grew up that was a tradition.”

The Furniture Sharehouse can never get enough mattresses, according to Katie Bialo, 55, who started the organization in April 2007.

“We have probably not been able to fill half of the bed requests that we get,” said Bialo, a Larchmont resident. “People come on Wednesday and by Thursday, we don’t have anything left. Hopefully, down the line we’ll develop a relationship with one of the big bedding manufactures. Right now, families will be thrilled to get brand new Tempur-Pedic mattresses.”

Bialo said she was grateful to John Levene, a Hawthorne moving company owner, and the United Way of Westchester and Putnam for handling the moving and storage expenses.

Do you have old mattresses, beds or other furniture hanging around your house? If you're interested in donating furniture, time or money to the Furniture Sharehouse email me at

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