Recycling Furniture for Families (RF4F) gives gently used furniture and household basics to pre-screened people in need in McLean County. Our non-denominational charity works with more than 70 local service agencies and churches to provide basic home furnishings at no charge to people living at or below the poverty level ($14,580 annual income for one person in 2023; add $5,140 for each additional person). Everyone we help is pre-screened by a referring agency or church.

Since 2003, we’ve helped more than 23,000 people in about 9,500 households with annual incomes averaging $10,000, thanks to our generous donors and volunteers. About 50 percent of the families seeking assistance were recently homeless, 15 percent disabled, and 6 percent escaping domestic violence, and all are under the poverty guidelines established each year for their family size. About half of them don’t even have beds, so they have to sleep on the floor. We clean, organize, inventory, pack, and if necessary, deliver and unload the furniture they select from our warehouse for around 10 families each week with an average family size of 2-3 people.

We worked with a single mom who balanced being a college student, caring for her child, and a job. She had almost no furniture, so we gave her a loveseat, a desk and chair for studying, two lamps, and other household basics. She explains, “I just had a bed, a broken dresser, futon, and two plastic chairs. Now I’m so happy. You guys have been so wonderful.”

With only three employees, our 50+ volunteers help your charity dollars stretch. We can completely furnish a family’s home for $250. There are many ways to help: $25 pays about half a day of our warehouse’s utilities; $65 maintains a moving truck; $130 buys a tank of gas for the moving truck. And of course, we need furniture and household items in order to furnish families’ homes.