By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough/Hudson – In the past year, Fresh Start Furniture Bank has responded to 369 requests for help and given over 3,400 pieces of furniture and home goods to individuals and families in need. The nonprofit organization, formerly known as Touchstone Furniture Depot, located on Mechanic Street in Marlborough, recently moved to an expanded location at 34 Tower St., Unit E, in Hudson.
Director Sue Waudby and President Geoff Schultz made the decision to move because of space and parking issues.
“The new location is enabling us to better serve the public,” Waudby said. “We can more easily accommodate our volunteers and provide more parking.”
Many of those needing help are individuals and families who are trying to maintain or rebuild their lives – people who are working but unable to meet their living expenses. Others are victims of fires or floods, women and children escaping abusive domestic situations, people living in shelters or halfway houses and veterans.
They are currently in need of dressers, especially smaller ones; kitchen tables with chairs; pots and pans; towels; blankets and comforters – full or king size; lamps; metal bed frames; and silverware. The furniture bank is currently working with 129 social agencies who recommend those qualified to receive assistance. They are funded by private donations and grants. One hundred percent of all donations go back into the program.
“We are still completely volunteer run and are always looking for more help,” Waudby noted. “We need help assisting clients in our store, sorting donations, picking up items with our transport team, returning calls to donors, running drives for us and marketing help. If someone has as little as three hours a month, we would love to have them join our team.”
The store is open Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Anyone wishing to be a volunteer or to make a donation may call 508-485-2080 and leave a message, or visit the website, www.freshstartfurniturebank.org. Tax receipts are available for donors.
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, South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) Family Programs, and the Marlborough Community Cupboard.