Client Spotlight: Furniture Friends
Northwest Arkansas is blessed to host hundreds of international students from all over the world. When these students arrive, they rarely have furniture and not a large budget for purchasing those items. They also arrive here often knowing no one, with hopes of making friends as they continue their studies.
A local organization, Furniture Friends, works to help solve both problems. It started more than 15 years ago after a local resident friended several international students who had no furniture for their apartments. He rounded up some donated furniture and delivered it to them.
The ministry is now a joint effort between Fellowship Bible Church, New Heights Church, Field Agent, and Forefront Experience and is this month’s On Time Logistics client spotlight. Furniture Friends rents furniture for free to international students at the University of Arkansas. They also offer a program where a local volunteer can help the incoming students get acquainted with the area and have a friend to call on while they are here.
They have served students from more than 50 countries and usually have their furniture being used in up to 150 international homes.
We learned about Furniture Friends earlier this year and felt that supplying this endeavor with items that come through our doors would be a great way to welcome international students to Northwest Arkansas. As you may know, we often have various pieces of unclaimed furniture from our last mile deliveries that the retailer does not want to pay extra shipping fees to have the items returned to them. When we have furniture items that become available and that we can donate, we look at various charities that could use them and Furniture Friends is at the top of our list.
Their website offers several ways you can get involved:
- Help deliver furniture-simply help the donated furniture from the local community arrive at the students’ residence and help them get it put into place.
- Be a friend to a student-want to dive a little deeper? Volunteer to be assigned an international student to befriend and welcome them to the USA and Northwest Arkansas. We’ve all been that new person and remember how it felt to have someone show us the ropes!
- Donate furniture-have some furniture that is still in decent shape that you no longer want? Donate it to Furniture Friends and it will be used to bless an international student in the community.
- Donate money-don’t have furniture but still have a heart to help international students? They use donated funds to purchase gently used furniture for the students to rent.
We invite you to take a closer look at this organization and see if there is a small (or big!) way that you can become involved!
And in the meantime, if you have a need for last mile deliveries, warehousing space, or courier services, we are your solution in NWA, Little Rock, and Tulsa!