Michiana nonprofit helps families in crisis; Looking for community help right now

NOW: Michiana nonprofit helps families in crisis; Looking for community help right now

NEW CARLISLE, Ind. -- As winter turns to spring, a Michiana nonprofit needs the community’s help.

Community Reserve Inventory Building, better known as C.R.I.B., says they want any new or gently used furniture or household items homeowners may want to get rid of during spring cleaning. 

C.R.I.B. helps people in crisis, like those who lost their home in a fire or domestic violence survivors, establish a more comfortable home environment. 

“Grandma doesn’t have three beds and three dressers if she suddenly has grandchildren descend on her,” said Marvin Larue, one of C.R.I.B. 's founders. “Somebody has a fire and they find an apartment. The next morning, what are you going to fry your egg? Where [are] you going to sleep tonight? You know it’s an emergency kind of thing. We do everything we can to keep this from being a hand out but a hand up.” 

The New Carlisle based organization started 10 years ago. 

Since then it has helped furnish homes for more than 840 families in Michiana. 

“It’s a much heavier load than we thought it was going to be,” said Larue. “Clothing and those things that are easier to get. A lot of these agencies are surprised, ‘Oh you have furniture?’... They’re glad to find it.” 

C.R.I.B’s clients must be referred to them by one of their partner agencies. Once they’re approved, families can come in, one time only, and take as many couches, beds, tables, and other home items that they may need. 

“You need a table, you need a place to hang your clothes,” said Larue. 

C.R.I.B is in urgent need or dressers and kitchen items like pots, pans, and silverware. The organization also accepts new and gently-used beds and bedding, couches, chairs, recliners, dining / kitchen tables, lamps, coffee and end tables, among other items. 

Larue says C.R.I.B. is happy to fill a need in the community and the hand up helps people get through their tough time. 

“We’ve seen a little bit of everything,” said Larue. “All at once you’re getting this stuff handed to you. Your reaction is, ‘Huh?’ We pray with people when they leave with their things and sometimes they pray for us. We find people that are so stricken with oh, all this stuff is free, they don’t know what to say. We’ve seen the whole spectrum. It always shocks me.” 

Donations are accepted any day of the week, but wanting to make a donation need to call (574)654-7898 ahead of time. Donations can be picked up at C.R.I.B.’s building or picked up by volunteers. The organization is also looking for people who can help out with pick ups. Interested persons should call the same number.

Click here for C.R.I.B.’s Facebook page. 

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