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Furniture Mission gifted $1 million to expand

Rendering of The Furniture Mission’s new headquarters

Rendering of The Furniture Mission’s new headquarters

The Furniture Mission of Sioux Falls, S.D., an organization dedicated to helping those in need furnish their homes, has recently accepted a $1 million gift from the area’s Seed for Success Foundation through outreach efforts by the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation (SFACF). The money will go towards a new woodshop to repair and refurbish donated furniture and start a mentoring program.

“The Seed for Success Foundation is focused on giving people ‘seeds today to create success tomorrow’. We help connect that foundation with opportunities throughout the area. So, when we realized the Furniture Mission was expanding and doing a capital campaign to really serve the community, especially with expanding its woodworking shop with the added element of mentorship, we knew the Seed for Success Foundation would want to help fund that because it aligned with their priorities so well,” says Mary Kolsrud, vice president for philanthropy at SFACF.

The Furniture Mission will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in January and is currently moving into a new 26,000-sq.-ft. space on the Empower Campus in downtown Sioux Falls, across town from its former location. Since its founding in 2003, it has worked closely with other social service agencies, schools, churches and hospitals who give referrals to serve those in need.

Volunteer John Bulsma in the old 300-sq.-ft. woodshop. The new shop, still in the design phase, will be three or four times larger.

Volunteer John Bulsma in the old 300-sq.-ft. woodshop. The new shop, still in the design phase, will be three or four times larger.

“Once that referral is received, these families or individuals walk through our warehouse, which is essentially set up like a furniture store, and they get to choose everything that would make their house their home,” says Janean Michalov, the Furniture Mission’s executive director.

The Furniture Mission’s staff and volunteers repair damaged furniture, build toddler beds, and turn vanities and desks into more popular items like tables and nightstands, for example.

The new shop will also be used to teach woodworking. “A dream for our organization is that the 1,500 children we put into toddler beds will come back and be mentored on how to build in our woodshop, to do simple carpentry repair and become the next generation of our volunteers,” says Michalov. “We are now about more than just giving people furniture. We’re helping the community at large create future generations of volunteers and craft new skills.”

For more, visit furnituremission.org.  

This article was originally published in the September 2022 issue.

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