HopeNow Furniture Bank Celebrates “Stock the Shelves”

HopeNow Furniture Bank is celebrating the community response to their “Stock the Shelves” pilot project to enhance the services provided to needy clients.

Rev. Mearle Griffith, HopeNow Executive Director, said the “Stock the Shelves” pilot project began in February, seeking philanthropic support to purchase needed items when the organization’s normal donation process didn’t yield sufficient supply of items needed for clients.

Griffith remembers a volunteer at the furniture bank indicating their displeasure when they were unable to provide everything needed to make a house a home.  She said, “I just hate it when I have to tell a client we don’t have a toaster or pots and pans today.”

The HopeNow Board of Directors approved a plan in January to develop a “Stock the Shelves” grant writing program to secure funds to purchase needed items so that the agency could provide all that was needed by clients.  Griffith explained that the donation model of securing needed items is still the primary source for meeting needs, but the “Stock the Shelves” pilot project is needed to fill in when donations are not adequate.

Griffith reported to the July board meeting that more than $14,000 had been utilized to purchase items to “Stock the Shelves” in the first five months of the pilot project.  He indicated that more than $21,000 had been received through grants and donations in the same period.

Among the items purchased include microwaves, pots and pans, electric mixers, toasters, crock pots, coffee pots, box fans, miscellaneous kitchen utensils, bedding such as sheets, pillows, blankets, kitchen and bath towels as well as mattresses, box springs and bed frames.

HopeNow Furniture Bank has a mission to collect donated gently used furniture and housewares and then distributes those items to families in Knox County who are unable to afford to furnish their homes.  The warehouse is located at 1201 S. Main Street in Mount Vernon.  Persons wishing to donate gently used furniture and housewares can call 740-358-2998.