In December of 2016 “Sofas for Service” became a nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation. We now serve Veterans with referrals from sources including:
- Tomah VAMC
- King Veteran’s Home in Waupaca
- Veteran’s Assistance Foundation
- Minnesota Action Council for Veterans
- County VA offices
- CENTER for VETERANS ISSUES
- PORCH LIGHT
- ROCK VALLEY COMMUNITY PROGRAMS, INC.
- Direct contact by Veterans themselves or their families.
Since its beginning in the winter of 2015, Pete, with help of many volunteers have served hundred of individual Veterans and Veteran families and have made several trips to the Tomah VAMC and to apartment complexes with truck and trailer loads of furniture and other home furnishings. “Sofas” has served Veterans and their families throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. A few cities we have been in include Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, New Richmond, Rice Lake, Tomah, Sparta, LaCrosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Janesville, Beloit, Superior in Wisconsin; Rochester, Sanborn , Red Wing, Mankato, Pipestone, Jasper, Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota; South Beloit, Rockford and the Quad cities area in Illinois amongst other cities in those states.
Because awareness has grown, and because an estimated 2000 of this country’s 40,000 homeless veterans live in Wisconsin, “Sofas for Service, Inc.” can no longer depend on the support of one individual. To meet the needs of our homeless veterans in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and elsewhere, we need the support of the community at large.
We have a constant need for funding as there are expenses associated with administering our program. While we have no payroll, we have insurance and monthly storage payments. Fuel expenses are a huge budget item as are beds (We do not give used beds, we buy new beds for our Veterans). We need support for our bedding fund. We buy new mattresses and box springs for our Veterans who need them. We do not accept used mattresses. We recently purchased a custom built 16′ enclosed trailer and a pick up truck to pull it. Our volunteers no longer have to use their personal vehicles avoiding thousands of miles of wear and tear on them. However there are obvious maintenance costs with the acquisition of these assets.
To reach as many Veterans as possible we need to grow “Sofas”. We will need public support to accomplish this. Our continuous needs are office supplies and equipment, telephones, marketing (including electronic media) and personnel. We need volunteers to help with office management, accounting, inventory, and muscle power to help move furniture.
This recently, “Sofas” served a Veteran, and his 6 year old son, with needed furnishings. This Veteran and his son were living in an apartment furnished with only a small kitchen table with 1 camp stool. They were sharing a bed. The living room furniture consisted of some cushions from a sofa; not the sofa, just cushions, and a video game for the child. “Sofas for Service” provided a new mattress, box spring and frame for the child, 2 chests of drawers, a reclining love seat and an end table for the living room, 4 wooden chairs for the kitchen table, a cart for a microwave oven, and some kitchen wares including flatware, cookware and miscellaneous kitchen gadgets. The Veteran thought we had brought too much for his use and asked that we take a few items back and give them to “the next Veteran”! These are the kind of serving “Heroes” that our veterans are! How can we not give back to those who have given so much and risked even more?
- WE ACCEPT MOST HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS IN GOOD TO LIKE NEW OR NEW CONDITION. THESE INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
- LIVING ROOM AND BEDROOM FURNITURE SUCH AS END TABLES AND NIGHT STANDS (TALL DRESSERS ARE PREFERED OVER LONG; MATTERESSE AND BOX SPRINGS ARE NOT ARE NOT GENERALLY ACCEPTED), SOFAS AND LOVE SEATS, RECLINERS,ETC.
- KITCHENWARES, SMALL KITCHEN APPLIANCES, FLATWARE, AND DISH/SERVICEWARE.
- VACUUM CLEANERS.
- FANS, LAMPS, CLOCKS, RADIO ALARM CLOCKS
- LARGE APPLIANCES ARE GENERALLY NOT ACCEPTED.
- MONETARY DONATIONS ARE CONSTANTLY NEEDED