The VFC is pleased to announce that Thunderbirds Charities has joined our growing list of supporters by becoming a Silver Sponsor of the Veterans Furniture Center. On June 1, 2018, the VFC received a check from the Thunderbirds for $10,000 for our Support a Veteran Program.
Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona.
The Arizona Corporate Commission has accepted our request to change the official name of our 501(c)3 from United For Change to the Veterans Furniture Center. The old name will appear on some documents while we work with government agencies and other entities to get the new name in place. In the meantime we remain laser focused on helping those veterans who need our help the most.
The VFC has been highly dependent on donated used furniture. As a result, we often have not had the full compliment of furniture the veteran needs. Donated furniture is often not suitable for the small apartments available to eligible veterans. The furniture is either too large or not otherwise serviceable. Where possible, we sell the furniture we can’t use, using the proceeds to purchase new furniture better suited to our operation. As a result, we have had to spend more time picking up and processing donated furniture than we do making deliveries, limiting our capacity to respond to increasing demands.
To address these issues, the VFC is transitioning to a new model based on carefully selected purchased furniture and goods to make up a standard kit that includes a full compliment of bedroom and living room furniture; kitchenware, including dishes, cookware, and small appliances; linens, including sheets, towels and dish towels; and a hygiene kit. Through very selective purchasing, obtaining discounts and donations from retailers, and the support of our volunteers to assemble items, we are able to provide each transitioning veterans with a full complement of new furniture and household goods for under one thousand dollars.
This new approach assures that every transitioning formerly homeless veteran we serve receives the full compliment of furniture and household goods they need to begin a new, productive life. Furthermore, new furniture and household goods have a larger psychological impact on the transitioning veteran’s self worth than receiving a limited set of someone else’s discards. By reducing the need to collect and process used furniture, the VFC capacity to help those in need is greatly increased, allowing us to respond to increasing demands. It also enhances operations by providing quantifiable and trackable inventory and costs. The transition to the new model is underway. As an example, thanks to a generous donation-in-kind from Living Spaces, we are now able to guarantee everyone of our needy veterans a new, comfortable bed in which to sleep.
The transition is underway. As shown in the diagram above, 2018 is a critical year for the VFC and we are working hard to make this happen. To meet our goal we need to increase our support in the community. You can help. Please visit the Help Us page on this website for information and ideas on how you can help make a difference.
On Wednesday, January 17th, Bruce Pagel and Bob Alford attended the Veterans Committee meeting at Lodge #335 and were presented with a donation check in the amount of $2,000! This is the same lodge that previously went on a shopping spree and bought over $3000 worth of items for delivery to our clients. Special thanks to Andy and Lori for making this happen. This new money will be used to buy more dressers, microwaves, dining tables for delivery to transitioning homeless veterans.
Today we were honored to receive another wonderful donation from this valuable friend of the VFC. Doug Hunt, representing Post 44 out of Scottsdale, presented us with a check in the amount of $1,000. This is not the first time this group has helped out the VFC and we appreciate their continued support.
On this past Wednesday, December 13th, the VNSA presented the Veterans Furniture Center with a wonderful grant in the amount of $5,000. The check was presented during the VNSA Holiday party to Bill Garling, one of our very valuable volunteers. We were honored to have Bill and his wife Carmen represent the VFC at this event.
One of our star volunteers recently hit a milestone with the VFC. Wally Henry, the wife of another of our stellar volunteers - Bob, just hit her 100th day of volunteering with the VFC. Wally has been working almost every Tuesday to organize our linens area. She works with Bob in one of the old offices to sort, package and label the bed linens, blankets and towels. Her dedication to the VFC is inspirational and we were proud to be able to do a little something special for her.
In a brief ceremony we officially designated the office as the Wally Henry room in her honor. Thanks for all you do Wally, it makes huge difference.
The Elks Lodge #335 brought three members, including Exalted Ruler Larry Bodwell, to a Phoenix Walmart to meet two volunteers from the VFC. The next hour was spent shopping for much needed items for the VFC warehouse. The generous folks at Lodge #335 gave the VFC a budget of $3,000, which we managed to exceed! We were able to get 12 four drawer dressers, 11 microwaves, 10 coffee tables, 7 night stands, 6 end tables and coffee pots, toaster ovens, boxes of pots & pans, some sheets and more stuff, it was like a Christmas miracle. We can't thank the Elks enough for this wonderful gift!