“I just had a bed, a broken dresser, futon and two plastic chairs. Now I’m so happy. You guys have been so wonderful.”
(From talking to a single mom who’s a college student with a child and a job. She had no lamps–we gave her two. She was given a loveseat, a desk and chair for studying and household basics.)
Recycling Furniture for Families (RF4F) gives gently used furniture and household basics to pre-screened people in need in McLean County. Our non-denominational Christian charity works with more than 50 local service agencies and churches to provide basic home furnishings at no charge to people living at or below the poverty level ($11,880 annual income for one person; add $4,020 for each additional person). Everyone we help is pre-screened by a referring agency or church.
Since 2003 we’ve helped more than 15,000 people in about 4,500 households with annual incomes averaging $9,500. We estimate half of those we help do not have beds. Average family size is 2.5 people. We help up to 10 families weekly. We clean, organize, inventory, pack–and if necessary deliver and unload their furniture. A modest fee is charged which helps with delivery costs.
About 25 percent of the people we help were recently homeless, 15 percent disabled and 6 percent escaping domestic violence. Fifty volunteers help your charity dollars stretch. We have a handful of paid employees. We completely furnish a family for $250.
There are many ways to help–$65 maintains a moving truck; $130 buys a tank of gas for the moving truck; $25 pays about half a day’s utilities.
People bring furniture to our 8,000 square foot warehouse–but a lot of furniture is picked up from donor’s homes by our volunteer drivers and furniture helpers.
RF4F, a subsidiary of Partners for Community, is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt not-for-profit non-denominational ministry and is member of McLean County’s Continuum of Care Homeless Service Providers Network.
We were founded in 2002 by Doug Poag–a visionary with a big heart–to assist victims of domestic violence. In 2003-2004 we evolved into a furniture bank. The people we help can find housing through other social service agencies, but cannot afford used furniture prices.