The Furniture Bank of Central Ohio has made significant progress over the past three years toward financial sustainability through the leadership and efforts of our Board of Directors. We have embraced social enterprise as a viable means to diversify our funding base. Social enterprise provides sustainable growth opportunities through marketplace earned income which helps the Furniture Bank meet the needs of central Ohio families impacted by poverty.
Thanks to the generous support of community funders, we opened our very successful Furniture with a Heart social enterprise thrift store two years ago. The store has enabled us to serve 1,600 families in need over the last two years of operation thanks to the surplus generated by sales.
Last winter, we launched the social enterprise Downsize with a Heart thanks, once again, to the generous support of community funders. This program helps primarily seniors and their families develop and implement transition strategies and customized plans including organizing, packing, donation, and moving services. As with Furniture with a Heart, revenues are reinvested into the Furniture Bank to help more families in need.
After one year in operation, our Downsize with a Heart social enterprise is gaining momentum with a particularly high demand for moving services and requests for services coming from a broader range of demographics than initially expected.
With the projected success of both of these businesses coupled with plans to introduce a third social enterprise this year, the Furniture Bank is on track to establish the sustainable funding base needed to continue to meet the growing need for furniture and household essentials among central Ohio families impacted by poverty.
Steve Votaw, President