Chairs for Charity way for woman to give back

Carrie Thachuk, owner of  The Passionate Home on McBurney Lane, is busy upcycling chairs for the second annual Chairs for Charity event on Oct. 25 to benefit the Langley Christmas Bureau. - Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times
Carrie Thachuk, owner of The Passionate Home on McBurney Lane, is busy upcycling chairs for the second annual Chairs for Charity event on Oct. 25 to benefit the Langley Christmas Bureau.
— image credit: Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times

In 1993 Kristy Flichel experienced firsthand the generosity of a Christmas Bureau.

Her house burned down just one month before Christmas, and it was the bureau’s support that helped her family get through the season.

The memory is still vivid today, and now Flichel, author of, is giving back to the organization through the Chairs for Charity event.

Hosted by The Passionate Home on McBurney Lane, the second annual Chairs for Charity is using the store’s specialty of do-it-yourself furniture projects to raise money for the Langley Christmas Bureau.

Designers simply upcycle a chair and donate it to be auctioned off.

“It works perfectly with our reclaim, recycle philosophy,” said Carrie Thachuk, owner of The Passionate Home.

“Through the store we’re meeting all these women that are so creative. It’s just a great opportunity for everyone to do something they love and to give back at the same time.”

The concept of upcycling takes old, waste products and converts them into new, usable products. In Thachuk’s case, her store focuses on recycling old furniture into beautiful and trendy pieces.

“This Chairs for Charity event is so in line with what we do and what our customers do,” Thachuk said.

“People are going to bid on chairs that they can actually use. They are lovely decor and they make beautiful gifts.”

This year Thachuk has invited design bloggers to upcycle the chairs for the event. There are more than 20 being created, including a B.C. Lions themed chair that has been signed by the team.

“The process starts with the hunting of the chair, but this is something that we DIY bloggers love to do,” Thachuk explained.

“The chair then speaks to you and it tells you what colour it wants to be. You want to be creative, a lot of the bloggers find something that is unique to them.”

For Flichel, the event “just levels the playing field for me.

“The whole event, the evening, the people you are around, it’s one of those things you just want to do,” she said.

Claudine Pender, a DIY blogger from North Vancouver, has funded Christmas Bureaus in the past and loves the concept behind Chairs for Charity.

“Everything matched with what I do.

“That’s why I wanted to donate. I just want to help,” she said.

The upholstery for the chairs has been donated by Reid Armstrong from Once Again Furniture and Upholstery Inc. Like many others involved in the event, he also has a personal connection with the Christmas Bureau.

In the past he sponsored the same family for five years and “watched the children grow up.”

“I’ve never needed anything at Christmas, I’ve always found it better to give and to watch other people,” he said.

Since the inaugural event last year, the Chairs for Charity idea has exploded among design blogs throughout Canada.

A post Flichel made on her website has even inspired a DIY blogger from Ontario to host a similar event.

“It feels great that you are inspiring other people to give, not just locally but provinces away,” Thachuk said.

“All these chairs that people are redoing we’re keeping out of landfills.

“It’s like win,win,win,win,win everywhere you look. It’s just all good.”

The public is invited to attend the event on Oct. 25 at the Passionate Home, 20506 Fraser Hwy.

There is a silent auction during the day from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and a live auction of the top five chairs at 7 p.m.

Cost to attend is free.

For more information and to RSVP, visit or here.

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