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ILYA’s Revitalized Furniture Project Assists Young Adults with New Apartment Needs

Recently, Independent Living for Young Adults (ILYA) was thrilled to share that the Furniture Barn run by residents at Cokesbury Village (including some First U members and friends) had generously agreed to offer to our youth access to the excess furniture their residents can no longer use. This was a much- welcomed solution after the pandemic shut down the Catholic Charities Thrift Center with whom we previously had a relationship so our youth could choose furniture from their store’s inventory.

This new partnership got off to a flying start on March 29th! All the moving parts meshed beautifully as our foster youth, Gabby, was able to access furnishings she needed to establish her first apartment on her own. With the help of an anonymous donor, she was able to use her voucher of $300.00 to purchase goods without any expenses to herself. Such a wonderful gift to someone starting her adult life with very few resources.

The excitement was obvious as volunteers from ILYA and Cokesbury Village worked with Gabby and Joe Balinski, her Independent Living Coordinator from People’s Place 2, to explore all of treasures that Cokesbury’s Furniture Barn had to offer. Gabby was greatly appreciative of all the support she received. A big thanks to Roy Bastien, our new volunteer truck driver, who delivered the furnishings from Cokesbury to the new apartment location.

The ILYA team is grateful for this new partnership with Cokesbury. ILYA will be able to offer vouchers of $300 for every young adult who needs basic living necessities for his/her new apartment, such as a bed, love seat or comfortable chair, table and chairs, dresser, mirror, lamps, or rug.

Sue Hodges has agreed to lead this revitalized project. In addition to the partnership with Cokesbury, ILYA will continue, on a case-by -case basis, to try to find a home for furniture which church members may wish to donate. Since we have no storage facilities, finding a new home with our young adults for those donations often requires favorable timing between the member’s need to get rid of the furniture with a youth’s need for the items. Patience is needed by all!

We are seeking additional volunteer support for lifting the furniture into place. For more information, to volunteer or to donate furniture, please contact Sue Hodges, Furniture Project Coordinator, at 302-239-6675 or by email: Thank you!