Household Goods Do Good

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Families gather around tables, sit together on sofas, and tuck children into beds. But for families in crisis, these everyday comforts can vanish. One group of volunteers furnishes families with hope—and household goods. Heidi Robinson reports.    

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(Locator: Kingsport, Tennessee)

Volunteer: “Ya’ll want to come help load?”

This may look like a furniture sale, but these beds, chairs and loveseats will be offered for free to families facing chaos.

Volunteer: “Need that end table right there…”

This warehouse in Kingsport, Tennessee holds household goods that are being given away by the truckload.

Volunteers from First Broad Street United Methodist Church provide the labor.

Volunteer: “We’ll need another lamp…”

Joe Stas, First Broad Street United Methodist: “Half the people we take beds to are sleeping on the floor or on air mattresses.”

Recipients are often women with children escaping domestic violence.

Danny Howe, First Broad Street United Methodist: “They are literally starting off with nothing including forks, knives, spoons, tablecloths…”

Volunteer: “We’re ready to go.”

Others are victims of circumstance.

Debbie Pressley, Furniture Recipient: “I didn’t think we’d ever find help. We’d just about given up.”

Debbie Pressley sold her furniture to support her three grandchildren.

Debbie Pressley, Furniture Recipient: “I had to start pawning everything that I had to make sure they had bites to eat.”

Her son is serving in Iraq and the children’s mother disappeared after nine-month-old Faith was born.

Debbie Pressley, Furniture Recipient: “I’ve had to lose my job. I’ve got nothing left.”

Her rental house has one chair downstairs.

Debbie Pressley, Furniture Recipient: “We live out of an icebox. We don’t even have a refrigerator anymore.”

A phone call from the church turned despair into guarded optimism.

Debbie Pressley, Furniture Recipient: “He called back. Left me a message saying we (sobs) got this furniture coming. And me and the babies just got down on the floor and prayed and held hands.”

Volunteers moving a couch: “…probably sit it on its end.”

Debbie Pressley: “Faith (the baby) thinks it's toys because she’s never seen furniture.”

Now this family feels comfortable … and comforted.

Volunteer: “God Bless you.”

Debbie Pressley: “Thank you.  Thank you so much.” 


The delivery itself represents important help for families in dire circumstances, because they also don't have vehicles to move furniture.

This year First Broad Street United Methodist Church has helped more than 3,000 families. Like many outreach programs, this one has had an almost three-fold increase in requests.

If you would like more information about this program, contact First Broad Street United Methodist at 423-246-4471.

Also, see: Church furnishes homes with help and compassion

Posted: March 4, 2009