Category Archives: News

Volunteer Spotlight: Jerry Thomas

Jerry has lived in the area for 25 years and began volunteering for RF4F as an assistant driver several days a week. After seeing just how important his role was to the organization
and especially to the families, Jerry has now become a regular weekly driver. When not volunteering, Jerry works for a global technology manufacturer providing an extensive list of IT services, office hardware and software, and document management for businesses. He also enjoys spending time with his two sons doing outdoor activities, going to the gym, and visiting with family and friends.

Of his experience volunteering for RF4F, Jerry says that it is rewarding because, “Sometimes we get so involved in our own lives that we forget how truly blessed we really are. Volunteering is a way of giving back to the community” and that what surprised him most about working with RF4F is that, “It has opened my eyes to how the things I take for granted means so much to someone with so very little. Before I worked for RF4F
I would drive by houses with household items on the boulevard for trash pickup and wouldn’t think twice about it. Now I see items on the boulevard and think that someone less fortunate could use that for their home.” This is particularly evident when college semesters end and furniture seems to multiply on the sidewalks. Jerry also notes that with, “Federal, State and local funding . . . stretched to its limits . . . our local service agencies will more and more need to look to organizations such as RF4F for help.”

As a dedicated, passionate volunteer, Jerry wants others considering volunteering for RF4F
to know that, “If you want change in your life try volunteering for RF4F. It does make a difference. It’s easy to place your household items on the curb hoping someone else will pick them up. It only takes a few minutes to make a phone call to RF4F and that call will make a difference in someone’s life. Whether you are thinking about monetary or household goods donations, please visit the website” In closing, Jerry would
also like to emphasize that “RF4F is a Christ centered ministry helping families in need and
the volunteer work makes a true difference in our community.”

How To Keep Your Home From Making You Sick

Your home is the one place you feel most comfortable; it’s the place where you can relax, be yourself, and spend time with your family. However, many people don’t realize that there are common household items in just about every room that can cause illness, and just about all of it is preventable.

If you have a family, it is likely important to you to keep your home clean; the problem with many of these household items is that they either hide in plain sight or they get overlooked because many people are not aware that they can trap bacteria, mold, and dust and even recirculate it throughout your house. Take a walk around your home and assess how clean it really is; have you taken hot, soapy water to the refrigerator shelves lately? How clean are your floors? It may seem overwhelming at first, but if you start small and work your way up, you can suss out the dangers and keep your family safe from illness in no time.

Here are some of the best places to start.

The kitchen

The kitchen can be a breeding ground for all sorts of nasty things. Fruit, vegetables, and raw meat should especially be handled with care; wash all fruits and veggies before placing them in your fridge, and once every few weeks, take hot, soapy water to the shelves, bins, and trays inside the refrigerator, where E.coli can breed. If you have a wooden cutting board, cleaning it with hot water is the first step; sanding it down is the second. This will ensure that bacteria won’t hang around on the surface.

The bathroom

You may think your bathroom is spotless, but there could be little things you haven’t even thought of, such as the bottom of the toothbrush holder, where water pools after you brush your teeth. Or how about the bathmat? Make sure to wash it once every couple of weeks and always hang it up to dry after you step onto it from the shower, as water can settle onto the rubber backing and create mold. It is also a good idea–especially if you live in an apartment or small home–to leave the door or window open during hot showers (or turn the fan on), as all that steam can loosen wallpaper, leaving the perfect opportunity for mold to creep in.

The vacuum

Depending on what type of vacuum you have, it may be leaving behind dust and allergens every time you use it. Make sure the bag or receptacle is cleaned after each use, and open the windows while you run it if possible. You might also consider buying HEPA filter for your home, which traps a good deal of the dust particles flying around each room.

Your bed

It is scary to think about, but our beds trap dust, dead skin, and microscopic dust mites every day. Make sure you wash your sheets often, including the pillowcases and comforter (although that may need to be dry cleaned), and, if you have a ceiling fan in your room, clean it well once a week to keep dust from floating down onto your bed.

It may seem overwhelming, but making these cleaning habits part of your weekly chores will help you stay on top of them and keep your family safe from illness.

Handmade Garden Ornaments Help Support RF4F

Need something to spruce up your yard or deck? Our amazing volunteers have hand crafted these beautiful pieces of art (see below) to help support the operations of Recycling Furniture for Families. If you would like to own one of these ornaments (suggested donation $10 with stakes, $5 without stakes), please come to our facility at 515 North Center Street, Bloomington IL 61701 (Downtown Bloomington). We are open Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm and on Saturday from 9 am to noon.180-2

2016 Mark Kelly Memorial Annual Fundraiser


Dear Friends & Family of Mark Kelly and Recycling Furniture for Families,

The Mark Kelly (Pictured) Memorial Fundraiser embodies the clear and solid commitment Mark had for improving the day to day lives of families in desperate need.  Once again I am reaching out for your help and donations to the 2016 Fundraiser.

The Mark Kelly Fundraiser was established in 2010 to celebrate the gifts of Mark’s countless volunteer hours at Recycling Furniture for Families (RF4F), providing home furnishings for families found near-hopeless often as a result of domestic violence or recent homelessness.  You may visit  to learn more about the non-profit services they faithfully provide to families yearly.  Since 2010 your generous gifts have turned this into our biggest fundraiser of the year, and thus helped many families receive life-sustaining goods. Our goal this year is $25,000.    The amount raised from this fundraiser is greatly needed to support the operational needs of our organization.

I ask you to remember the empathy, kindness and understanding that my brother Mark exemplified.  To make a donation in Mark’s name, please stop by or mail a check to RF4F, 515 N. Center Street, Bloomington IL 61701. Or use this link, the financial donation page of RF4F website during our drive period from now until September 5, 2016. Please indicate that the purpose of your donation is “Mark Kelly”:

Thanks to all of you for making this happen,

Beth Kelly


P.S.  For every $25 donated, you will receive one entry for a chance to win one of the following prizes ($500 for first prize, $250 for second prize, or $100 for third prize).   For example, a $100 donation gives you four chances to win. The raffle drawing and the winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 6th.


Fall / Winter Newsletter

Recycling Furniture for Families client spotlight

For 30 years, Jerry Posey was a motivational speaker, traveling across the country—
as well as internationally—for the Grace Harvest International Family Worship Center, spreading his faith and helping to inspire others. Then, in October, he came in contact with RF4F, and it was his turn to receive some help. “It’s been phenomenal,” he said. “We’re truly enjoying what God is doing with our lives.

Read our full newsletter here

Spring Newsletter

At the end of March, we wrapped up the Gene Megli Truck Fund. We are happy to report that we were able to meet our goal of $50,000 and are in the process of buying a new or slightly used truck to honor Gene’s memory. For further updates, be sure to check our website and Facebook page.

Take a look at the details in our Spring Newsletter.  Click the link below!

Newsletter Spring 2015

Our November Newsletter is Here!

We’re excited to spotlight a project that we’ve been supporting. Founded in 2005, Labyrinth Outreach Services to Women provides assistance to women recently released from prison, helping
them to secure housing, food, and clothing; medical and prescription assistance; education
and job training; counseling and case management; family reunification and parenting
resources; and a spiritual community — providing a holistic support system and helping to
reduce recidivism in McLean County.

We also provided RF4F shirts to a group of IWU student volunteers, pictured below, who
helped ready the house for its new residents. To learn more about this wonderful
project, visit

Read more about this and more in our newsletter Click here