RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield organization helps to change lives, and it does it in a unique way, one piece of furniture at a time.
Furniture for Change looks like any other furniture store inside Chesterfield Town Center.
"You can find anything from your dining, to your sofa, to decorations for your house," said executive director Rosalinda Rivera.
All of the items are new, shiny, and some are even on sale. However, this store is different from other furniture stores.
"Every purchase saves a life," said Rivera.
They save the lives of all the young ladies who work inside the store. In fact, the ladies run the store, managing everything from its layout to pricing.
The ladies are part of the Mercy House, which is operated by the faith-based New Life for Youth charity, which started 44 years ago by Rosalinda Rivera's parents, Victor and Carmen Torres.
"The Mercy House is a wonderful place where women who are broken and hurting, who have gone through sex trafficking, abuse, addiction, can come and find hope," said Rivera.
During the year-long program, they learn numerous skills to help them transform their lives, including business skills.
While working at Furniture for Change, Megan Devisme has discovered she likes decorating. She has also discovered that she has a promising future.
"I've been in and out of rehabs, halfway houses, methadone clinics for the past eight years and this is the only faith-based program that I've been to, and it's the only program that has worked for me," said Devisme, 23.
Devisme's co-workers have similar tough stories. They say they just need a step up, and that is what this store and its shoppers help to give.
"Through God, we believe that they can become a new creation in Christ," said Rivera.
Furniture for Change is open during regular mall hours.
If you would like to learn more about Mercy House, an open house will be held Thursday, February 26, at 7:00 p.m. It is located at 2320 Broad Rock Boulevard in Richmond.