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Furniture Mission Helps Turn Houses into Homes

Some people have furniture they no longer want or need, while others find it difficult to afford basic home furnishings.

This common situation inspired Marcia Van Ginkel of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, S.D., to open a furniture-recycling ministry in January 2003.

“The goal is to provide a bed for every child in Sioux Falls,” said Van Ginkel. But even though the mission provides about 100 beds a month, there is usually a waiting list of 60 or more people waiting for beds. Volunteers deliver furniture for those who can’t pick it up.

“We’re being obedient to God’s word by giving it out to the poor,” said Van Ginkel. She admits there are disappointments, such as when a family doesn’t pay their rent and the furniture they received is forfeited, or when they move away and abandon the furniture.

The mission, which receives funding from United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), recently earned a national development achievement award for using government funds to best address the needs of low-income families.

What began as a ministry served only by volunteers from First CRC now includes several denominations, but more than half of the mission’s volunteers still come from the CRC, including Shalom CRC, also in Sioux Falls.

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