New Grinnell church-based ministry helping people in need across Poweshiek County with home furnishings
Members of the Renewed Hope Home Furnishings ministry are, from left, front row: Lynn Van De Krol, Joan Van De Krol, Angie Radcliffe, Barb Briggs. Back row: Pastor Anthony Nieuwsma, Jim Kessler, Rick Ethington and Pastor Ron Bryan.
By J.O. Parker
A new Grinnell-based home furnishings ministry is already making an impact in the lives of Poweshiek County families with needs.
Renewed Hope Home Furnishings, an outreach of the Friends Church in Grinnell, began reaching out to families in September and has already accepted donations and provided furnishings to two families in recent weeks. According to founder, Angie Radcliffe, there are several families waiting to be served.
Radcliffe, a school counselor who attends the church with her husband, Rick, came up with the furnishing ministry idea after seeing a need to help families moving into the area or who are starting over.
“I was helping a family relocate to Grinnell two years ago,” said Radcliffe. “I got in contact with Sue Hiner, executive director of Grinnell Housing Authority, so she could help the family get an apartment in Grinnell. Throughout that process, I realized there are no resources in Poweshiek County that help families with home furnishings.”
Radcliffe said she and Sue have met several times in recent years and discussed this idea of how to help people who are in need of home furnishings.
“God has kept this idea in my mind for over a year now and has given me a strong desire to help fulfill this need for families who can benefit from this,” said Racdliffe. “I believe this is God’s will.”
The desire to help others led Radcliffe to reach out to the church family and it just grew from there. Even though the church has been helping families since September, the ministry officially opened on Nov. 7.
“We saw a need to help people get furnishings,” said Friends Church Pastor Anthony Nieuwsma. “Our target is people coming out of homeliness or trying to get back on their feet.”
How it works
The Givers - When a giver has an item they are gifting to our organization, we will:
• Take a picture of the item and get the dimensions. The item will be posted on the website (https://renewedhope.grinnellfriends.org) as being available for two weeks.
• Once it’s been claimed, volunteers will pick up the item and deliver it to the receiver.
• Givers will be offered information about the program.
• Givers will be given the opportunity to become volunteers, if desired.
The Receivers – When a receiver has chosen an item they need, our organization will:
• Arrange a time and place with them for delivery of the item.
• Volunteers will deliver the item to their home.
• Receivers have the opportunity to occasionally hear from the volunteer to continue to build the relationship and hear the Word of God.
• Receiver will be given the opportunity to become a volunteer to help others.
Once the item or items is/are delivered, the volunteers will be available to talk with the receiver about needs and concerns they may have. Volunteers will also check on families after the donation.
“Volunteers may offer to pray with them about those needs,” noted information on the outreach.
The ministry is operated by a committee of eight people, who not only help keep the outreach going, they volunteer to help pickup and deliver home furnishings as well.
The ministry is currently accepting good, used furnishings including tables and chairs, couches and living room chairs, stools, bedroom furniture, microwaves and small appliances.
They are not accepting washers, dryers, stoves, refrigerators and mattresses at this time.
The group is also currently looking for a storage building in Grinnell. Should you have a useable building, please contact the ministry via email at: email@example.com.
If you would like to donate to the ministry, checks may be sent to: Renewed Hope Home Furnishings, Grinnell Friends Church, P.O. Box 507, Grinnell, IA 50112. Please write RHHF on the memo line. Those who wish to donate using a credit card, please visit the website to make a contribution.
There is a need for volunteers to help pick up and deliver home furnishings and complete other tasks as needed.
“If you know someone in need or have items to donate or would like to volunteer, reach out through our website (https://renewedhope.grinnellfriends.org),” noted Pastor Nieuwsma.