Ferris State University has collaborated with The Salvation Army of Grand Rapids to help place used residence hall furniture on a path toward individuals and families in need.
Diane Johnson, assistant to the director of Housing for Facilities at Ferris, noted that the reorganization of Ward Hall from double occupancy to single occupancy for Honors students left the university with a surplus of dormitory furniture. Johnson contacted The Salvation Army of Grand Rapids to get the wheels in motion to form a partnership through which Ferris has donated approximately 100 beds, 100 student desks, 20 mattresses and other items to the charitable organization for sale.
Johnson worked with Diane Taber of The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Grand Rapids to put the items in the hands of people who need them.
“My understanding, in talking with Diane, is that the donated items have been placed in the stores and that the funds generated from the sale of the items will help fund the ARC,” Johnson said as The Salvation Army has an expressed need for many of the items Ferris has donated for placement in The Salvation Army thrift stores. “They are very grateful for this donation.”
Ferris has a history of charitable partnerships and donations and university officials hope this is the start of an effort that will spur others to give rather than to simply discard items they no longer use.
“Diane Johnson has worked very hard to connect with various companies and agencies that can use our outdated furnishings to improve the lives of others,” said Jon Shaffer, director of Housing and Residence Life at Ferris, who noted that the university can put these items in the hands of people who can use them and avoid costs related to disposal of the furniture. “These furnishings have helped provide a comfortable home away from home for Ferris State students for more than 15 years.”
Shaffer added that the university relishes opportunity to give back to communities.
“It is rewarding to know that these furnishings will be used elsewhere giving them a second life while helping those in need,” he said. “As we look for ways to best care for the environment while providing the best service to students, this is truly a win-win partnership.”
The Salvation Army ARC provides support services to men and women who are struggling to overcome drug and alcohol addictions. The center is home to 115 individuals. The Salvation Army’s ARC assists these individuals in their recovery. The Salvation Army funds the costs of this comprehensive program solely through the collection of donations and the sale of those items in its Family Thrift Stores.