On Saturday, April 14th, 2018 Tom Sheets, Executive Director of the Southwest Veterans Foundation, and David Linhart, President of the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce, presented Bob Alford, VFC Board Member with a check for $1,000 for the VFC Support a Veteran Program. The VFC Board and volunteers are grateful for the ongoing support of the Southwest Veterans Foundation.
The VFC has been highly dependent on donated used furniture. As a result, we often have not had the full complement 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 complement 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 complement 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 every one 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.