By Leslie Radford
Tifani Pitcock and her two infant children were overwhelmed Friday when volunteers from the Lighthouse Mission showed up on her door step with a 24-foot utility trailer carrying enough furniture to fill her tiny apartment on west Grand Street.
“This is so awesome,” said the 21-year-old mother as she watched Lighthouse volunteers bring in each piece of furniture and set it up throughout her new home.
“This is such a blessing,” said Pitcock’s mother, Cindy Meeks. “Tifani deserves this. These are things she’s never had on her own.”
Pitcock is one of many residents in the Clovis area that will receive free, almost new furniture from the Lighthouse Mission as part of its “Extreme Home Furniture Makeover.”
The furniture was donated to the Lighthouse Mission by the Singapore government, which recently moved its squadron of planes and personnel from Cannon Air Force Base.
Lighthouse Mission director Richard Gomez said the mission board chose to disperse the furniture through an application process where they modified the TV show Extreme Home Makeover’s online application to fit its needs.
Volunteers moved full sets of home furnishings Friday to five families in the area.
Most of the recipients received a living room set, a queen-sized bed with mattress and box springs complimented by a bureau, nightstand and chest of drawers. Other items included microwaves, washers and dryers for those, dining tables with chairs and accent lamps.
“This is such a gift to our Mission from the air force base,” Gomez said. “Lots of people will be blessed because of it.”
He estimates the Mission will receive more than $250,000 worth of furniture over the next week or so from the base.
The organization has already received enough donated furniture to fill one and a half warehouses.
“(Recipients) will get to sleep on Sealey mattresses,” Gomez said. “I mean, this is some really nice, clean, useable furniture. I don’t have furniture near as nice as these folks are getting. It really is a blessing to the ones who do get it.”
“Extreme Home Furniture Makeover” will continue until the Mission runs out of furniture, Gomez said.
“We want to try to help anyone that needs these things,” Gomez said. “Even people like me and you who work hard for a living that just can’t afford this kind of furniture, they should apply, too.”
Pitcock found out about the program while staying at the Lighthouse shelter. After three months, Pitcock was recently granted an apartment through a housing authority in Clovis.
She continued to stay at the shelter because she did not have the necessary furniture to make the apartment livable for her and her children.
“I can’t believe they (the Lighthouse Mission did all this for me,” Pitcock said.
Pregnant with her third child, Pitcock moved back to Clovis for personal reasons.
“I came home at the right time,” said Pitcock, as her children, Phillip, 2, and Hailey Aragon, 1, jumped on their mother’s new bed. “I was really excited when they called to tell me I was getting all this.”