Saturday, April 26, 2014

We Need Muscle in May!

It's Boston College student move-out time! For the past four years, HGRM has partnered with Boston College to collect over 6,000 items that students leave behind as they move out of their dorms. These donations are critical in helping us respond to the many clients we serve year round. In addition, this year Boston College is donating the furniture from a 458 room dorm as they renovate (don't worry, BC will do the loading)!

We need your help to collect, record, unload and sort the items that students are donating. They include sheets, towels, microwaves, lamps, plastic drawers, and much more! Volunteers are needed at Boston College to collect and record donations and at HGRM to unload. Most of the items are light, so you do not need to be a heavy lifter to help! 

Graduation Day is Monday May 19th.  We need 50-60 volunteers at BC to handle the load from the 2,000 seniors moving out. We collect over 3,000 items on graduation day alone!

Please feel free to bring friends! We welcome new volunteers only interested in helping with this event! (Volunteers under 18 need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian at BC).

Volunteers are needed to go to BC (Times include travel time to BC):
  •   1:00-5:00 Sunday May 11th-Tuesday May 13 (Tuesday may be a bit longer) 
  •   9:00-2:00 Wednesday May 14
  •   1:00-5:00 Friday May 16–Saturday May 17
  •   3:00-9:00 Sunday May 18
  •   11:00-8:00 Graduation Day–Monday May 19 (shorter times okay too)
  •   10:00-3:00 Tuesday May 20 to pick up the rest of the items
Volunteers are also needed to unload trucks Monday, May 12th-Wed May 21st at HGRM in the morning! Times TBD. Stop by for an hour or two if you can!

For more information or to sign up, call 978-635-1710, ext. 6, or email Bob VanEmburgh at

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Different Kind of Love Story

Recently, HGRM received a warm, soft handmade quilt that arrived with an explanatory note. The note reminded us that in 1997, Grand Fork, North Dakota, suffered a devastating flood. Tens of thousands of people were displaced by the rising waters and the downtown fire that followed.

A group of quiltmakers decided to do something, so they made warm quilts for displaced people. The donor of HGRM’s new quilt said that her family had received one when they were displaced. She wrote that they were “fortunate” because they were able to move back to their home after only a few months. Others were not so lucky; their homes were totally destroyed.

This quilt tells a love story that is a little different from what we usually read at this time of year. One corner of the quilt bears a square with the name of the quilting guild and text that reads in part “made with love for you.” Although the family cherished this quilt, the donor sent it to HGRM hoping that it would provide comfort to a new family just as it had once comforted her own family.

The quilt and its story are heartwarming reminders that people often want to help others in times of need. Floods, fires, and other disasters can elicit numerous acts of kindness and generosity. However, remember that every month is a time of need for someone. Perhaps you too can help by passing on gently used household goods just as this quilt’s owner did. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Clients' Stories

Allan         and          Marie

People often wonder who our clients are and what brings them to HGRM. Are these people really in need of household goods, or are they just looking for free stuff? All of our clients come to us through referrals from social service agencies, government agencies, or clergy. Their stories are as varied as their personalities. We have begun posting a few clients' stories on our website, and hope you will take a look.

Alan, for example, is a Gulf War veteran, who struggled with trauma, homelessness, and addiction. Ultimately, he reclaimed his life and found a place to live. But he had no furniture or other necessities. You can read his story here.

Marie and her two children survived the catastrophic Haitian earthquake and fled to Boston, where they wound up homeless. Today, she is studying medicine and comfortably living in a new home that HGRM helped furnish. You can read her story here.

Clients come to HGRM by means of many different paths. Many, like Allan and Marie, are veterans or victims of natural disasters. Others are refugees or people escaping domestic violence, while still others are just leaving shelters or halfway houses. Whatever their situations, all have a genuine need that HGRM helps meet. To read more client stories, or to learn more about how you can help, visit our website.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

An Idea Book of Sample Rooms

Back in April, when the Boston University community had their Days of Service, one group helped us with a special project. Their task was to select various pieces of furniture from HGRM's inventory and use them to create a sample room set-up. The idea is to photograph the rooms to give clients ideas about ways in which they might use furniture.

For example, when you go into an ordinary furniture store, you see room arrangements that have low coffee tables in front of sofas. However, HGRM may or may not have coffee tables the day a particular client comes in. The photos of room arrangements show them a variety of other arrangements that they might create. Here, the crew used nightstands to create attractive, comfortable living rooms.

Ideally, over time HGRM will create an entire idea book with various room settings. If you have an eye for decorating or home design, perhaps you'd like to help.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

So Many People to Thank....

Where to begin?

We just completed Move-Out Day at Boston College, where we collected over 6,200 items! This is a lot of household goods and will make a huge difference in the lives of our clients! Our biggest thanks go to these folks:
  • all our hardworking volunteers, who drove, loaded, unloaded, sorted, and cleaned. This would have been impossible without you all
  • Boston College, which made this all happen. 
  • Circle Furniture, who donated a truck for the day. In addition, their CEO, Richard Tubman,  spent the entire day helping us

Additional thanks go to these organizations also. Their support was invaluable!
We will post some pictures shortly but did not want to wait to thank so many who gave so much.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Congratulations to Barb and Ira Smith!

Barb and Ira Smith

On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, Barb and Ira Smith won the Community Service Award given by Enterprise Bank during its Celebration of Excellence. The Community Service Award “honors and celebrates a local person or for-profit business organization that has harnessed the power of their assets, resources, and visibility to make a significant, positive impact on their community." 

Enterprise Bank gives awards to people in different categories, including educators and  entrepreneurs. You can read more about the Smiths and the other winners here

Barb and Ira were noted as people who “selflessly and modestly devoted themselves to improving the lives of others. “ Barbara made the acceptance speech for the couple and pointed out that without HGRM, she might be "in a recliner vegetating," while Ira might be out "hugging trees." Listen to her speech, and you will understand why it received the standing ovation that it did. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Biggest Donation Week of the Year

Do you know that the week before Monday, May 20, is HGRM's biggest and busiest donation week of the year? True!  That week leads up to the the Boston College Graduation, a day when hundreds of students will be moving out of their dorms, leaving behind a treasure trove of household goods. They leave small refrigerators, microwaves, lamps, televisions, sheets, towels, and blankets, among other items. HGRM collects these goods to share with clients. It's a banner week for us; in seven days, we take in more than we usually do in a month.

However, we need many volunteers to take advantage of this event. We need people to collect and load donations at BC from Saturday, May 11, through May 20. May 20 is an especially busy day. Then we need workers to unload the trucks after they have hauled the items back to HGRM. Unloading takes place from Sunday, May 12, through May 21.

Any chance you can help on one or more of these days? Please call 978-635-1710 ext. 6, or email to sign up.