Recently my colleague, Karen Gregg and I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Beth Phillips and her daughter Robyn of Furnishing Hope.
What an inspiration they are!
Beth is an interior designer who had a successful career doing high-end residential interiors. While working as an interior designer Beth had many clients with gently used home furnishings and other items for donation. Because of this, Beth suggested donating to Habitat for Humanity. Beth started Furnishing Hope in 2003 while partnering with Habitat For Humanity furnishing homes for low income families. She also had the opportunity to help many members of the military, especially those who had been wounded serving our country.
In 2010, Beth decided to focus on working with wounded military heroes and single moms transitioning out of shelters. Around 2011 her daughter Robyn came on board as a partner to assist Beth in connecting, organizing and furnishing the homes of those in need.
To further their cause, Beth and Robyn opened a retail store in Westcliff Plaza in Newport Beach called FH Home located at 1100 Irvine Ave, Newport Beach in 2017. All the furniture is new and is donated by various manufacturers and the proceeds of sales go directly to Furnishing Hope programs.
Furnishing Hope has also partnered with Living Spaces and Houzz to help with furnishing the homes, as well as offering volunteers for each furniture installation. Robyn, who is usually at each installation, will make sure that the home also has cupboards and drawers filled with pots, pans, dishes and silverware. At the end of each installation, Furnishing Hope even supplies a casserole to heat up and eat for the family’s first dinner in their new home!
Furnishing Hope typically installs three homes per week, one on Wednesday and two on Saturday.
How wonderful it is for a mother and daughter to work on such rewarding projects together! In order to find families to help, Beth and Robyn work hand in hand with other nonprofit organizations such as Wounded Warriors, Colette’s Children’s Home, Casa Teresa and Grandma’s House of Hope among others.
During our interview Robyn mentioned that some of the kids have never had their own bed or room to sleep in so she tries to make it as special as possible. Beth told us about a mom who just wanted a dining table and two chairs so she could teach her daughter manners and how to eat at a table. Things like this we take for granted in our daily lives but are sometimes new experiences for these families. Beth and Robyn are making this a reality and changing lives in the process.
We at Volunteer Network OC thank Beth and Robyn for their amazing work helping these deserving families in need! Please go their website and learn more about Furnishing Hope and FH Home.
Also, read about their Pillow Project here: