Michigan's Largest Furniture Retailer Donates $1 Million to Focus: HOPE

WARREN, Mich., March 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Wanting to make sure the work of Eleanor Josaitis continues, Art Van Furniture announced today it is donating one million dollars to Focus: HOPE and is challenging other businesses and individuals to match its contribution.

On March 10, 2012, Michigan's largest furniture retailer served as the title sponsor at "The Light for Hope Eleanor M. Josaitis Tribute."  More than 900 prominent Metro Detroiters gathered at the Detroit Marriott to the kick off a $10 million fundraising campaign in honor of Focus: HOPE co-founder Eleanor Josaitis. It was there that Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture, pledged one million dollars and appealed to others to donate. "Eleanor Josaitis had such a strong impact on so many lives.  Keeping her spirit, her legacy and her work alive is imperative," says Van Elslander, who was a close friend and colleague to Josaitis' pursuit." 

Eleanor Josaitis was dubbed Metro Detroit's Mother Theresa.  Most people knew her as a petite powerhouse who dedicated her life to uplifting the less fortunate for nearly more than 40 years.  Josaitis fought to breakdown racial and economic barriers, providing better lives for thousands of Metro Detroiters in need.  Prior to her death last August, she and her family requested that a fund be established to make her work to live on.

As part of the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge, the company donated $50,000 to the non-profit last year. The furniture chain is now making Focus: HOPE its number one charitable initiative for 2012 by donating $1 million, donating over $20,000 in food, books, art supplies and mattresses plus holding quarterly fundraising and friendraising events in its stores.

Josaitis' work with Focus: HOPE included a food program which provided the equivalent of 500 million meals for children and senior citizens, workforce training programs helping 12,000 of the program's graduates secure jobs, plus comprehensive child care services.  Money collected from the fund will benefit these and other programs.

About Art Van Furniture

Art Van Furniture is Michigan's largest furniture retailer and America's largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 34 stores in 33 communities throughout Michigan, a full service e-commerce website, plus 5 freestanding Art Van PureSleep bedding stores in Canton, Troy, Rochester Hills, Brighton, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Mich. Check out artvan.com for more information.

SOURCE Art Van Furniture

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