People Barn


The mission of the HopeNow Furniture Bank is to provide household goods to those individuals and families of Knox County struggling to furnish their own homes due to poverty and other challenging life experiences.


Our vision is for all Knox County children and families to live in homes equipped with essential furnishings, thereby providing basic comfort, encouraging better family unity, and relieving unnecessary suffering.


In 2005 a small committee affiliated with Faith Lutheran Church in Mount Vernon began a voluntary relief effort to provide household furnishings to women and their children leaving New Directions, the domestic shelter of Knox County. This volunteer group became organized as Faith United for Families (FUFF). Over the next couple of years, donations of household goods steadily increased requiring a succession of ever-increasing storage facilities, from a furnace room at a local church to the current 9,000 square foot warehouse, rent-free, compliments of The Ariel Foundation. FUFF was re-named HopeNow with its incorporation in 2009 as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Shortly thereafter, HopeNow, Inc. received its first major grant of $10,000 from the Community Foundation of Knox County and adopted a broadened mission statement to include all Knox County persons in need. In 2013, HopeNow, Inc. became HopeNow Furniture Bank of Knox County in affiliation with the Furniture Bank Association of North America. From serving a mere half-dozen families in 2005, HopeNow has assisted over 2,100 individuals and families. With its new name, expanded mission statement, re-branding, and presence on social media, HopeNow Furniture Bank continues to grow as it attempts to fulfill its mission and be guided by its vision that all children and families of Knox County in need are living in homes that are adequately furnished with donated household goods.


  • • President: Lee Rhoades
  • • Vice President: Lorraine Olsheski
  • • Treasurer: Jim Harder
  • • Media & Publications: Lee Dunlop
  • • Administrative Operations: Beverly Actis Hierl
  • • Events: Shelley Grub
  • • Housewares: Cindy Sperry
  • • Woodshop: Marshall Winkle
  • • Member-at-large: Marilyn Hoy
  • • Member-at-large: Dawn Porter
  • • Member-at-large: Robert Ready (warehouse manager emeritus)


  • • Executive Director: Mearle L. Griffith
  • • Director of Operations: Steve Frye
  • • Treasurer: Jim Harder
  • • Office Manager: Nikki Alfrey
  • • Schedule: Rachel Cook