How do you help people that have been continuously beaten down by life? You could offer time, money, sympathies. If you are a furniture store, you can offer the very thing you sell. The Furniture Mall has teamed up with Statesman’s Season of Caring program to supply families in need with furniture.

The Statesman highlights the needs in our community by featuring families nominated by local nonprofit organizations. They focus on fundraising, having raised more than $15.2 million for local nonprofit organizations since it began in 1999. This year the focus was on the López Guzman family.

Arelis López Guzman watches her daughter Samantha Menchu López jump on the new sofa from Furniture Mall of Texas, donated as part of the Statesman's Season for Caring campaign.

Samantha spreads out on the new couch donated by the Furniture Mall of Texas. Image by Nell Carroll/American Statesman

Arelis López Guzman, moved to Austin five years ago from Guatemala. After a traumatic incident, in which López Guzman’s daughter, Marlen, was assaulted, the family had a crucial choice to make. Either they could stay in Guatemala where they received no support from authorities and family, or they could risk everything and come to the United States.

In Austin, López Guzman met her now-husband Jose Menchu Orozco. They had a daughter Samantha, who is now four, and have another child on the way. Life seemed to be going well for the family,  López Guzman had a job making tortillas at a restaurant, and Menchu Orozco worked as a dishwasher at a restaurant. They could not escape the misfortune, however, as a woman attacked them on an Austin bus. Racially motivated, the incident impacted the family’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. With the hospital bills from that incident, and seizures that Samantha has experienced (not related to the bus attack), López Guzman was at a loss on how to handle the expenses.

That’s where Foundation Communities stepped in, an organization that helps provide affordable housing throughout Austin. They nominated the López Guzman family, and Statesman’s Season of Caring program noticed them. Enlisting the help of the Furniture Mall, we were able to donate two dressers, a sofa, a coffee table, a large bookcase, an entertainment console, and an expandable kitchen table with five chairs, perfect for their growing family.

Arelis López Guzman runs her hand over her new kitchen table from Furniture Mall of Texas.

Arelis López Guzman, admires her new table from the Furniture Mall of Texas. Image by Nell Carroll/American Statesman

We are not just helping the López Guzman family and patting our backs with a job well done. We also donated furniture to the Gaston-Ellis family, the Castillo family and Cheryl Selby. Our company is also making new furniture available to the other Season for Caring families at wholesale prices. Nonprofit organizations can now use Season of Caring money to help their families, without relying on second-hand furniture or paying exorbitant fees.

Brian Morgan, one of the co-owners of the Furniture Mall, told the Statesman, “We are so honored to serve alongside you. We can’t think of a better way to show that we love our neighbors than supporting the Statesman and those you extend help to.”

If you’d like to find out more about Season of Caring, you can read the stories of other families and make a donation if you feel inclined to at López Guzman family also has an Amazon gift registry, with many items still needed. They are really hoping for a new or gently used car and are making it their 2022 goal to obtain one.

If you or someone you care about needs some furniture, stop by the Furniture Mall for anything from accent rugs to La-Z-Boy recliners. We have locations in Topeka, Olathe, and Austin, so stop by when you have the chance.


Written by Emily