Grace Centers of Hope to Receive Art Van Matching Gift

Also participating in online voting challenge for more Art Van funds

Pontiac, Mich., Oct. 13, 2010 – Grace Centers of Hope, one of southeast Michigan’s largest homeless shelters, has been selected as a recipient of the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge. A grant of $20,000 from Art Van has been awarded to Grace Centers of Hope, which then will match this amount by its own fundraising efforts. The monies will benefit its newly purchased childcare facility that will serve more than 50 children from infants to age five.

Concurrently, Art Van is holding a virtual competition, encouraging the public to vote online for their favorite participating nonprofits. The organization receiving the most votes will win an additional $25,000. To vote for Grace Centers of Hope, access

“We are so grateful for the generosity of Art Van,” said CEO Pastor Kent W. Clark of Grace Centers of Hope. “Art Van is a longtime supporter of Grace Centers of Hope. With this wonderful opportunity, our Hands of Hope Childcare Center will be able to provide quality, affordable childcare for our homeless and disadvantaged populations. We feel very confident we can meet the challenge goals.”

Hands of Hope will be a state-licensed childcare center that recognizes quality indicators developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. It will provide programming that gives infants and toddlers the foundation to feel safe and loved, build self-esteem and develop positive relationships. Some children whose families have been homeless have been affected emotionally and developmentally by the experience. Hands of Hope will improve school readiness for three-year old and four year old youngsters through its pre-school program. It also will strengthen family functioning with parenting seminars and workshops. Program staff will meet or exceed Michigan’s educational requirements.

Because Grace Centers of Hope Grace firmly believes that a strong society is based on healthy families, it strives to keep children with their mothers throughout the various stages of its programming. Mothers will be able to take advantage of Hands of Hope for their young children, while they themselves are in the one-year Women’s Life Skills Program to help transition to stable housing, sobriety and employment, or the two-year After-Care Program, where they engage in weekly support groups, home-ownership workshops and financial counseling.

About Art Van
Art Van Furniture is a family-owned company that started with one small, 4,000 square-foot store in 1959. Today, Art Van Furniture operates 34 stores in 33 cities throughout Michigan and employs approximately 2500 associates. We have received many accolades from various organizations, recognizing our commitment to quality and the community. The National Home Furnishings Association named Art Van Elslander, chairman, the 1998 Retailer of the Year, while the Michigan Retailer's Association named the company 2000 Retailer of the Year. In 2001, Van Elslander was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame, and Detroit News readers have voted Art Van Furniture Michigan's Best Home Furnishings Store since 2003.

About Grace Centers of Hope
Giving hope to the helpless since 1942, Grace Centers of Hope is one of southeast Michigan’s oldest and largest service provider for the homeless. Today, Grace Centers of Hope is considered one of the leading faith-based organizations in Southeastern Michigan, confronting issues of homelessness, addiction, poverty, abuse and spiritual emptiness on a daily basis. On any given night, Grace Centers of Hope provides transitional and emergency shelter to 150-200 men, women and children, in addition to serving more than 100,000 meals each year. Grace’s $4.4 million yearly budget is maintained solely through corporate and private donors, exclusive of any government assistance.

For more information, or to make a donation, visit