Touchstone seeking furniture and volunteers
By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Extending a helping hand to people in need, giving them some of the simple necessities of life, such as furniture and household items, which will restore hope, dignity and stability, is the mission of the Touchstone Furniture Depot of Marlborough.
The locally based charity, located at 66 Mechanic St., was formerly Furnishing Options, sponsored by Employment Options. Branch Yules, managing partner of Touchstone Apartments and owner of the Frye Building where the store is located, has assumed full responsibility of the operation which is staffed by volunteers. Yules had partnered with Furnishing Options as its landlord, providing a downtown storefront free from rental fees.
“When Furnishing Options closed its doors, the community felt a great loss. This community is not the same without a means to provide furnishings to those who are in need of essential furnishings and household goods,” Yules said. “The former effort had developed a network of agencies and volunteers who worked together to deliver hope for a better tomorrow for hundreds of families. Touchstone Furniture Depot is continuing that effort and is enlisting additional community volunteer resources.”
Recently named director of the operation is Sue Waudby who extends a cordial invitation to area residents to join the team of volunteers at Touchstone.
“We will provide training and help all understand the referral process and how to work cohesively with our clientele,” she said.
“We are working on providing a more welcoming environment for our ESL (English as a Second Language) customers by providing labels on linens and other signs in English, Portuguese and Spanish,” Waudby said. “Our website can also be translated into several languages.”
She is currently seeking someone who would be available to volunteer as a translator during store hours.
Welcomed donations include sofas, chairs, small dinette sets, bureaus, side tables, coffee tables, small bookcases, bed linens, towels, cookware and sets of dishes. In general, any and all items that are used to furnish small apartments. Very large furniture, office furnishings, mattresses and box springs are not accepted. Tax receipts are available for donors.
Individuals and families served at the Depot are those in transition who need help to rebuild their lives. They include victims of fires or floods, women and children escaping abusive domestic situations, people leaving shelters or halfway houses, and war veterans.
Agencies may refer their clients to Touchstone Furniture Depot by using a referral form that is available to agencies and faith-based groups by calling 508-485-2080. Call also for inquiries from individuals or groups who wish to volunteer, potential partner organizations and donors.? Additional information and forms are also available at www.touchstonefurnituredepot.org.
Among participating groups who are currently referring clients are the Department of Children and Families, Grace Baptist Church, Roland's House (Marlborough-Hudson Homeless Shelter), Addiction Referral Center (ARC),? Hudson Senior Center, Hudson Veterans Services, Marlborough Human Services office, SMOC Family Programs, SMOC Head Start, Juniper Hills School, and Marlborough Community Cupboard.
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