Transition Furniture recently received official nonprofit status after a year and a half of forms, fees and long hours of work.
The process was at times defeating.
Founder and director Daniel Murch explained the huge need in the community encouraged perseverance through the feelings of defeat.
He continually reminded himself it would be worth it in the end.
Transition Furniture offers hope to individuals and families in need through providing furniture for those who have undergone a house fire, natural disaster or are moving from a situation of homeless to residence.
Other agencies have also reached out to Murch in an effort to provide aid for their clients.
The nonprofit status opens the door to a plethora of possibilities.
“Now, furniture stores will be able to donate for tax receipts, because they really can’t donate to other places that sell furniture,” Murch said. “It opens up other avenues of getting furniture from other places.”
However, he admitted Transition Furniture will need a larger storage space before the amount of furniture needed by those in Bradley County can be donated.
The nonprofit currently has a 1,500-square-feet warehouse, but Murch predicted it would soon be filled. If the past repeats itself, the space will soon be bursting with end tables, couches, bed frames, mattresses, dressers and appliances.
Murch said he would like to have a 10,000-square foot building or warehouse for the nonprofit.
“That would give us the ability to actually set up a store, to have people come in and actually organize [the furniture into room displays],” he said. “We could have families come in and pick out the furniture they are getting, to give them a sense of ownership.”
The space would also allow for in-house projects, like furniture restoration, and offices.
As a newly-named nonprofit, Transition Furniture is now eligible to apply for a number of grants. Murch admitted he still has a lot to learn in this department. However, grants and a community willing to support financially could help the nonprofit reach its goals.
Aside from a large space to hold and display furniture, Murch said there is a great need for a large pick-up truck.
The past two years have seen Murch borrow trucks from friends, rent small moving trucks and play a precarious game of furniture Jenga in small truck beds.
A pick-up with a hitch for a trailer is the ideal fit for Transition Furniture right now.
Murch said he is trying to equip the nonprofit with what it needs to handle the need in Bradley County — and eventually its surrounding counties.
“Yesterday alone, I got three new applications. We’re still not to the point where we can help families because we don’t have this other stuff set up,” he said. “There still is not a lot of funding coming in, so we are still having to balance everything.”
While the nonprofit might still be unknown to community residents, those at local agencies invested in the needs of the community have heard about the young 501(c)3.
“[Transition Furniture] is definitely a need here in the community just from the different agencies I’ve heard from,” Murch said. “They are just thankful to have a resource, because no one else is doing this.”
He has used social media, like Twitter and Facebook, to get the word out about the organization and needs in the community.
“Its almost like a game,” he said. “It’s almost like a chess game. You’ve got to learn when to post at the right time.”
More information on the nonprofit can be found at www.transitionfurniture.org. Donations can be made either on the site or on Fundly at www.fundly.com/transition-furniture.