SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Charlie Childerston of Sioux Falls not only volunteers at The Furniture Mission of South Dakota, but he’s also on the charity’s board, too.
“Being a Christian, I think that it’s our responsibility to help take care of the poor when necessary or to help people that don’t have as much,” Childerston said. “And as a result … both my wife and I volunteer down here.”
Furniture Mission receives donated housing goods which eventually go out for free to people in need. Executive Director Janean Michalov explains that a South Dakota Department of Corrections community service program has ended which had the nonprofit paying inmates $1.25 per hour.
“For the last 18 years, we’ve used the Department of Correction gentlemen as the muscle and the heart of our organization to do a lot of the heavy lifting, helping of unloading and loading trucks, drop-offs, families being delivered to and families that are just here to load their vehicles with furniture,” Michalov said.
Now, only inmates eligible for work release can apply. Furthermore, they need to be paid $10.80 an hour.
“Eliminating that program eliminates two full-time staff that are here six days a week, so it makes it very complicated for us to be able to continue to serve without them,” Michalov said.
So, the Furniture Mission needs volunteers; Michalov says it’s their lifeblood. For Childerston, one age group is ideal.
“We need a continual resupply of younger volunteers that have recently retired, that’s the best, that recently retired and want to do something helpful to the community,” Childerston said.
You can reach Furniture Mission by phone at (605) 977-6800 and online at www.furnituremission.org.
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