Recycling Furniture for Families (RF4F) is a non-denominational charity serving families in need across McLean County. We are a subsidiary of Partners for Community, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit ministry and a 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, we evolved into an 8,000 square foot furniture bank. The people we help can find housing through other social service agencies, but cannot afford new or even used furniture.
We give furniture to people living at or below the federal poverty line—$14,580 in annual income for one person in 2023, plus $4,720 for each additional person in their household. We often step in after times of crisis, such as house fires, domestic violence, and transitions from homelessness. The furnishings we offer free of charge are part of the process of making a family’s house a home.
Last year (2022), we supported more than 250 families and distributed 4,182 pieces of furniture. We do not inventory small household items, but we know those homewares likely triple the number of items we are able to offer to families.
A thankful client explains, “I have nothing but wonderful things to say on you guys’ behalf. I am more than grateful for the service I received. You guys just didn’t help me with some furniture. You helped give me the boost in confidence to develop autonomy and independence and make it on my own. Everyone needs help sometimes and I am so happy you guys helped me when I needed it most. God Bless.”
RF4F partners with more than 70 local service agencies and churches, who provide referrals to our services. After getting referred and pre-screened, including documentation of income and household size, we work with local families to choose gently used furniture and home necessities. All the furnishings in our warehouse have been donated by community members. Our volunteers often pick up items directly from donors’ homes.
Our small staff of three supports 50+ volunteers who keep our operations running in our warehouse, on our truck, and in the office. We depend on monetary donations from individuals, businesses, churches, and service groups to continue to serve the neediest families in our community. The essentials we provide allow them to live in their homes with basic human dignity. They need us. And we need you.