House of Goods Pushes on After Thieves Damage the Nonprofit's Trucks

click to enlarge House of Goods lost valuable time when thieves stole the catalytic converters off the nonprofit's delivery trucks. - MADYSON DIXON
House of Goods lost valuable time when thieves stole the catalytic converters off the nonprofit's delivery trucks.

Last month, House of Goods was beginning preparations for the Afghan refugees arriving in St. Louis when thieves threw a wrench into its operations. Workers arrived on the morning of August 18 ready to organize donations and deliver furniture and other home goods to those in need only to find the catalytic converters stolen from the organization’s two delivery trucks.

House of Goods is a nonprofit affiliated with the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, organized to help refugees get settled in. Although many of those who receive donations are Muslim, it isn't a requirement. House of Goods opens its doors to anyone in need.

Lisa Grozdanic, the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis’ task manager and outreach coordinator, manages all of the House of Goods donations and deliveries. Grozdanic says this is the third time the nonprofit’s two moving trucks have been hit. With the trucks temporarily inoperable, volunteers were only able to pick up smaller items, such as clothes and food, rather than the larger items, like furniture.

The timing could not have been worse. Four Afghan families have already been placed with more expected to be arriving soon. Refugees typically hear about the service through word of mouth or through other organizations that House of Goods is associated with. This makes being prepared even more important.

“Right now, with the Afghans coming and us collecting donations, we’re so packed, and we have so many pickups that we’ve had to cancel or put on hold,” Grozdanic says. “We’re so packed, and then when they stole the catalytic converter it was like everything was happening at the same time.”

With House of Goods unable to make large deliveries, donations started piling up at the intake center within a week. But both trucks have since been repaired. Grozdanic says this was done partially through donations and partially through the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis.

“The amount of donations we’ve received, thank God people have been very generous. So we’re trying to keep up by putting all the items away and at the same time collecting. Right now, since we haven’t had a truck, it’s been work,” Grozdanic says. “Right now, the most help you can give is your hands.”

House of Goods accepts donations from 8 a.m. to noon Monday-Thursday and on Saturdays. If interested in volunteering, call House of Goods at 314-833-3300.
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