SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Imagine not having a bed to sleep in after a long day at work or a dining table to enjoy a meal with your family. A local organization is making sure people have a furnished home to come back to each night.
From sofas to mattresses and lamps, you can find just about any piece of furniture a person would need to make a house a home.
Furniture Mission is an organization that helps families furnish their homes with carefully used furniture and household items.
“We’re giving them some dignity and pride and some grace when they’re arriving and then these items can last until they can save up and buy something of their own,” said Funiture Mission South Dakota Executive Director Janean Michalov.
The organization has been making an impact in the Sioux Falls area for nearly 20 years.
“Our founder started Missão Móveis in 2003 and she was a funeral home chaplain and had people come to her with loved ones who had passed away and all of their property not knowing what to do with it,” Michalov said. “She had a family in need at her church and kind of had a desire, if you will, to start a non-profit and Mission Furniture was born right after that.”
More than 34,000 families have been helped since then.
Janean Michalov started out as a volunteer coordinator at the organization nearly ten years ago, before taking up her current role as executive director about 4 years ago.
She says the need for what they do isn’t diminishing.
“It’s growing exponentially, especially as Sioux Falls grows, poverty levels continue to rise in our area and we know there will be a continuation of services, it will never go away, there will always be a need,” Michalov said. .
On average, Missão Móveis serves 140 families per month.
“I would say that in the last 5 years we have seen that number increase from around 90-100 families a month to what we are today at 140 families a month,” Michalov said.
When a family or person comes to pick up their furniture, everything is organized into capsules, giving a similar feeling to buying in a store.
“They can choose the entire living room set, kitchen table, coffee table, lamps and then all the decor that goes with it, they can visualize what their new space will look like,” Michalov said. “Making sure they feel welcome, excited and have dignity and pride in what’s happening for them, so creating these pods helps make that happen.”
Volunteers play an important role in ensuring that customers receive everything they need, from scheduling to delivering items.
Laurie Long has been a volunteer for 14 years.
“Basically, I answer the phone, talk to people about donations they want to make, call potential customers to help them give us a list of items they need for their homes, and make appointments to come in and pick up their furniture, or set up delivery,” said volunteer Laurie Long.
She agrees that the need continued to grow.
“I think the need has never diminished, it’s just an ongoing situation, people are sometimes in trouble, and getting a bed, sofa, table, chairs sometimes means the world,” Long said.
Not only filling people’s homes with furniture, but also filling their hearts with hope.
“It’s about building people up in our community and making sure people sleep comfortably in a bed, that makes them more successful at work the next day, kids are having dinner family style at a dinner table, that makes them helps you be more successful in your school day,” said Michalov. “It is impressive to think of how many lives have been touched by Missão Móveis.”
The organization recently received a $1 million grant from the Seeds for Success Foundation. This will allow the nonprofit to move to Empower Campus in Sioux Falls and expand its woodworking shop. Michalov hopes to use the space to provide guidance to those they impacted.
If you need help or would like to volunteer, you can find information here.