Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What is House of MErcy?

House of Mercy is a Catholic nonprofit striving to provide basic necessities for those in need as a way of living out our faith and showing people God's mercy and love. LEARN MORE

can anyone volunteer?

No. We need lots of help but we do have some restrictions on volunteers. We accept volunteers 16yrs and older. You must fill out an application and agree to a background check. LEARN MORE

Volunteers who are 13-18 years old can help with our Saturday service days and at special events throughout the year. LEARN MORE 

Younger volunteers can serve with their families during our special events such as our Campaign to End Hunger or Christmas with Mercy for specific shifts. LEARN MORE

 

Do you provide emergency rent or utility assistance?

Unfortunately we cannot provide emergency rent/utility assistance. We offer other services such as food and clothing which can be found here. Please contact Prince William County's Coordinated Entry Services for more information and resources on emergency assistance. 

What is your Inclement Weather Policy?
The House of Mercy will follow the Prince William County Government or Federal Government decisions in the case of inclement weather, NOT the public school system. If either the Prince William County government or Federal government are closed due to weather, activities of the House of Mercy will be cancelled, and volunteers will not need to report for work.

However, in the event that Prince William County or Federal Government have a delayed opening, the House of Mercy will still open at its regular time and volunteers are asked to report for their regular shifts.

Volunteers are asked to ultimately use their own good judgment in conditions of inclement weather and are asked to always err on the side of safety.

How do i find help/become a client?

You can just come in any day we are open! We require ID and proof of address, so it will be helpful to bring that when you come. No appointments are necessary. LEARN MORE

what is your biggest need?

Our biggest need (other than cash!) is always food for our food pantry. We are especially low during the summer and late winter/early spring. 

Our second biggest need is customers! Help us spread the word about our Thrift Store. 100% of the sales go towards our mission of helping those in need. 

Our third largest need is volunteers. We are always in need of help in many different ways to keep this mission running.

Last, but not least, we need your prayers! This mission cannot happen without lots of prayer and of course the grace of God! 

 

What donations are you accepting?

We accept many donations but we do have some guidelines and there are some items we cannot accept. Please visit our donation page for more information. LEARN MORE

Donation Center FAQs

Do you pick up donations?

Unfortunately, we do not have the staff to pick up items.

How do we pack items to be donated?

Try not to mix items.  Pack clothes, linens and housewares separately.

Pack clothes and shoes in garbage bags.  DO NOT overload them. Keep them at a reasonable weight so our staff and volunteers can lift them easily.  Avoid packing clothing and shoes in boxes.  Boxes take up a lot of space.

Linens (bedsheets, comforters, curtains, shower curtains and blankets, etc.) can also be packed in bags.

Housewares are best packed in boxes especially glassware.  

PLEASE pack items in boxes you don't need returned.  This makes it easier on our sorters as they are brought into the donation center.

 

Why don't you take used mattresses?

It is illegal to sell used mattresses that have not been cleaned and sanitized.  While we have the capacity to sanitize small throw pillows, we don't have the expertise or resources to clean and santize mattresses.

What's your Inclement Weather Policy?

The House of Mercy will follow the Prince William County Government or Federal Government decisions in the case of inclement weather, NOT the public school system. If either the Prince William County government or Federal government are closed due to weather, activities of the House of Mercy will be cancelled, and volunteers will not need to report for work.

However, in the event that Prince William County or Federal Government have a delayed opening, the House of Mercy will still open at its regular time and volunteers are asked to report for their regular shifts.

Volunteers, clients and customers are asked to ultimately use their own good judgment in conditions of inclement weather and are asked to always err on the side of safety.

Where do I bring my donations?

The donation center is located in the same row of buildings as our thrift store.  Look for the large white banner above the door indicating the donation center customer entrance.

PLEASE place your donation on our counter top to the right of the welcome desk.  Try to avoid placing items on the floor as this presents a hazard to guests and volunteers.  We will sort large donation as they come in to keep that counter clear.

Why are you so particular about what items you take?

Every item donated is accepted with the goal of selling it in our thrift store or to our partner vendors to fund our food pantry.  Items that are unsellable end up in the trash and too frequent trash pickups takes away money for the food pantry.  If you wouldn't buy it, help us help others by throwing it away in your home trash pickup.

Do you take VHS and cassette tapes?

This medium is not common anymore and it is not as in demand as CDs and DVDs are to our thrift store customers.

During what times do you take holiday decorations?

We take holiday decorations during the following date time frames:

Easter * January 1 - May 31

Halloween & Thanksgiving * September 1 - January 1

Christmas * November 1 - February 1

All other holidays (Valentines, St. Patrick's, 4th of July, etc.) will be accepted at any time.