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HopeNow Furniture Bank is celebrating the community response to their “Stock the Shelves” pilot
project to enhance the services provided to needy clients.

Rev. Mearle Griffith, HopeNow Executive Director, said the “Stock the Shelves” pilot project began in
February, seeking philanthropic support to purchase needed items when the organization’s normal
donation process didn’t yield sufficient supply of items needed for clients.

Griffith remembers a volunteer at the furniture bank indicating their displeasure when they were unable
to provide everything needed to make a house a home. She said, “I just hate it when I have to tell a
client we don’t have a toaster or pots and pans today.”

The HopeNow Board of Directors approved a plan in January to develop a “Stock the Shelves” grant
writing program to secure funds to purchase needed items so that the agency could provide all that was
needed by clients. Griffith explained that the donation model of securing needed items is still the
primary source for meeting needs, but the “Stock the Shelves” pilot project is needed to fill in when
donations are not adequate.

Griffith reported to the July board meeting that more than $14,000 had been utilized to purchase items
to “Stock the Shelves” in the first five months of the pilot project. He indicated that more than $21,000
had been received through grants and donations in the same period.

Among the generous grant donors were Knox Community Foundation ($5,000), United Way of Knox
County ($7,500), Energy Cooperative ($2,500), Landers Foundation ($2,500) First Congregational United
Church of Christ ($2,000) Park National Bank ($1,000) as well as individual contributions to “Stock the

Among the items purchased include microwaves, pots and pans, electric mixers, toasters, crock pots,
coffee pots, box fans, miscellaneous kitchen utensils, bedding such as sheets, pillows, blankets, kitchen
and bath towels as well as mattresses, box springs and bed frames.

HopeNow Furniture Bank has a mission to collect donated gently used furniture and housewares and
then distributes those items to families in Knox County who are unable to afford to furnish their homes.
The warehouse is located at 1201 S. Main Street in Mount Vernon. Persons wishing to donate gently
used furniture and housewares can call 740-358-2998.

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