The Mustard Seed of Central Indiana, located at 10080 East 121st Street, Suite 152 in Fishers, is a non-profit furniture bank that collaborates with local agencies to provide furniture to families and individuals in need. The organization relies on donations to provide gently used basic household furniture and items. Families coming out of homeless situations or shelters are aided in furnishing a whole apartment or small home with kitchen dish and cooking ware, bedroom sets, dining sets, and living room sets.
“When an agency re-homes a family, that’s just the beginning,” says Mary Gould, Business Director. “It’s furniture that makes a house a home. If the very basic needs of household items are there, then individuals are able to move forward and can focus on their jobs and family.
“We store all of our donations in a warehouse and our box truck and can be seen all over town picking up and dropping off donations,” she adds. “We are constantly in need of all manner of furniture donations and monetary donations.”
It is not a nationwide organization, but there are three Mustard Seed organizations in the country. The original one exists in Orlando and was started in the late 1980s. Indiana real estate developer Chuck McNulty liked the model and felt it would be a way to give back to the community. After starting one in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2002, McNulty opened a Mustard Seed in the Indianapolis area in 2016.
Mustard Seed partners with around 100 agencies that work to re-home families. Those organizations, such as Homeless Initiative Program, communicate to the Mustard Seed that help is needed. Recipients served are in large part military veterans and families who are coming out of homeless shelters.
“We supply the things a family needs: beds, dressers, couches, end tables, coffee tables, kitchen or dining tables and chairs,” says Amber Carlin-Kolodziej, Executive Director. “Child Protective Services will not let a parent have custody of a child unless every individual has a bed. We also give fitted sheets, and silverware, bowls, plates, cups, glassware and pots. Lamps are important because houses often don’t have any other source of lighting.”
There are two ways to donate items to Mustard Seed. A drop off time or a pick-up time can be scheduled on the organization’s website or by calling. Furniture pick-up is available in Marion and all surrounding counties. Donated household items and furniture immediately go out to families within a week.
“There is such a need that we never have enough,” Carlin-Kolodziej says. “We take the things people don’t need and give them to people who do. No other organization except us will take mattresses that are in good condition and are not stained. We are always happy to have volunteers and we always accept new partnerships with agencies who are interested in helping the community by helping people re-home.”
“We believe everyone deserves a chance and that providing a family or individual with the basic necessities of a furnished space to call ‘home’ can produce dignity and a sense of security,” Gould says. “With this new sense of security and pride, our hope is that our clients will go out into the world with one less thing to worry about as they work towards progress.”
To donate furniture and household items or make a monetary donation visit Mustard Seed Indy’s website at mustardseedindy.org or give them a call at 317-572-5724.
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