Written by: Mike McClanahan — Director of Retail Operations, Diocesan Council of Phoenix
Our ‘Bringing Hope Home’ BHH Program in Phoenix, AZ, aims to provide furniture and household items to families in need.
The program was started two years ago and we are so proud to say that we have been able to rescue and help hundreds of families.
These families may be transitioning out of homelessness, moving after a disaster like a fire or flood, relocating after an eviction, or escaping domestic violence. Even families currently living in a home but in need of furniture may be eligible for our program, depending on their circumstances. We receive funding from various sources, such as conference referrals, restricted funds for move-outs of our shelter residents, and our general SVdP fund for families and individuals housed by our Social Work team. We also solicit donations from potential donors and share family stories as part of our fundraising strategy. Referrals are placed on a waitlist and contacted in the order they were received. Deliveries are scheduled based on location and availability of items, usually within the same or following week.
We are grateful to be able to share stories like Veronica’s one of our BHH program:
Veronica Rios has struggled for the last 18-months with both homelessness and health issues. She is in need of two knee replacements because of severe arthritis, while also trying to raise and control her four-year-old autistic son; “my little one is ADHD with autism. It is hard for us to find someplace to stay and settle because other people don’t approve of how he acts,” she said.
But thanks to a new medication, her son’s demeanor has improved and is under control. And so is her mental outlook. She now has a place to call her own, thanks to St. Vincent de Paul. “Within two weeks of reaching out to St. Vincent de Paul, I got a place to live. St. Vincent de Paul also helped me with my move-in and now I get to shop for furniture,” she added.
Needless to say, Veronica and her daughter, Augustina, were excited to shop for furniture at a Phoenix St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store for their apartment. “We have nothing in the apartment right now,” Veronica offered. “Nothing at all, just our own clothes” she added. “It is exciting,” Augustina chimed in. “We get to choose everything and have an actual home. It will feel like a real home and we can continue to grow and build and move forward,“ she continued.
A day after shopping, a St. Vincent de Paul crew delivered and set up her furniture in her apartment. A tearful Veronica was overwhelmed with emotion: “I’m happy. I’m grateful. Grateful to lay our heads on a bed. Be able to sit down on a couch and watch tv and sit as a family and talk,” she said as her voice cracked fighting through the tears. “I’m just happy my kids will be okay. We’re going to be okay and I’ll have an opportunity to get back on my feet.”
Your store may have a similar program like the one described above. If you don’t, perhaps you could consider serving your neighbors in need in a different fashion.
Sometimes we help our neighbors with the specific need they have requested, but as we ask more questions, we uncover additional needs that we likely could also help them. This gives them a leg up out of their current situation and sets them up for a more successful situation.
Opportunities for us to “think outside the box” in how we serve.
The National Assembly is fast approaching in September. If you haven’t made plans to attend, we hope you sign up for the daylong Stores Meeting on September 6, 2023 in St. Louis, MO. You will leave this meeting with valuable information to take back to your store.
The morning will start with a motivational message from Dr. Snyder-Director of the Phoenix Dental Clinic. This will be followed by important information about the National Training Store’s growth and success in Phoenix during the last three years. You will hear valuable information that could help your store grow just like the National Store has grown. You will hear two testimonials from Rick Bologna & Bryan Engle about their experience either visiting the National Training Store or who requested Jeff Beamguard to visit their store to do an assessment.
The afternoon will be dedicated to hearing information about store staffing, increasing donations, profitability, Point-of-Sale (POS), sharing of innovative ideas to think of new ways to serve and information about a future National Training Store in Fairview, IL.
For those attending the Stores Meeting in its entirety on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, they will be eligible for door prizes to include:
- $250 Amazon Gift Card
- Trip for one to attend the 2024 National Assembly in Phoenix (Restrictions Apply),
- Trip for one to attend training at the National Training Store in Avondale, AZ (Restrictions Apply)
- Dinner for 2 ($200 value) — Executive Director group only.
You don’t want to miss out!!
Please encourage your store personnel to subscribe to the to the e-Gazette, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a topic that you would like addressed in a future Stores Corner article, please e-mail our Jeff Beamguard, National Director of Stores Support at email@example.com.