I see that Mission of Deeds gives beds and furniture to a lot of people. How do these people come to you and how do you know they are in need?
This is a very important question and is at the heart of our work. We realize that our donors and volunteers make sacrifices to provide us the resources to help people. We take seriously our responsibility to see that your generosity is channeled to households where it is truly needed.
Every client helped must be referred to Mission of Deeds by a caseworker or other representative of a social service agency, house of worship, school, hospital or other “helping” organization. The caseworker must know the potential client and visit the client’s home to verify that the requested household items are truly needed. If a referral is incomplete or in any way questionable, our staff will request that the caseworker submit additional information before we agree to service the client.
By following this process, we believe that virtually all the clients we service lack the resources to provide the needed beds, furniture and housewares on their own.
What if you help a client and they request items again later on?
Mission of Deeds maintains a database of each client we have previously serviced. We crosscheck each new referral against this database to see if we have had previous experience with the individual or family. If so, we examine the situation even more closely than usual. The basic rule is that service at Mission of Deeds is one time only with the goal of helping people return to self-sufficiency with household items. We do on occasion help a household a second time, if they have experienced a misfortune such as fire or other disaster beyond their control, but this is infrequent.
What is the most important thing you give your clients?
Almost anything could be the most important, depending on the client’s particular needs, which vary from household to household. Overall, though, we feel that the bed is the most important item. Imagine trying to rebuild your life, or do well in school, after spending the night sleeping on the floor. Many of our clients would be in exactly that position without our assistance.
In another sense, the most important thing of all may be the open, friendly, non-judgmental way we treat our clients. People in need, so used to dealing with faceless bureaucracy, often find our personal touch to be a breath of fresh air. We love this quote from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” We apply that philosophy to everyone we interact with – clients, donors and volunteers. We want everyone to be happy that they dealt with Mission of Deeds.
I asked Mission of Deeds to pick up my furniture but you could not come soon enough. I had good items. Don’t you need them?
Yes, we do, and this is one of the most difficult parts of our work. We are grateful for every donation offered, but timing can be an issue. We pick up at least twenty furniture donations every week but sometimes backlogs still develop.
Every person who staffs our truck is a volunteer. Volunteers who can move heavy furniture are in limited supply and we are fortunate that we receive many phone calls offering items for donation. If we could have our truck on the road more hours per day, we could be more timely in scheduling appointments. That is why finding more volunteers who can work on the truck is always a priority.
If you can bring your items to our facility in Reading, we will do everything possible to accommodate your schedule. If you have a large number of items to drop off, please call a couple of days in advance (781-944-9797) to let us know.
There are some items you do not take, like electronics, toys and clothing. Couldn’t people in need use these things?
Yes, they could, but we have found it important to focus on items that are most needed by our clients that other organizations in this area do not supply. Clothing is a specialized field that other charities are involved with. Toys are another specialized area with recall and safety issues. Electronics, such as televisions and computers, present issues of expensive disposal for items that do not work. By focusing on the large array of beds, furniture and household goods that is our specialty, we have developed expertise in an area underserved by other organizations and very much needed by the formerly homeless and others in difficult situations.
Mission of Deeds sounds like an interesting organization. How can I learn more about you?
The resources on this website are a start. You can also telephone (781-944-9797) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request brochures and other written material. The best way, however, is to pay us a visit. We love to have visitors and we will give you a tour of our facility. You may see us in the process of helping a client and you will meet some of our volunteers and staff. We are open from 9 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, as well as two Saturday mornings per month (the second and third calendar Saturdays) from 9 am to 12 noon. You don’t need an appointment, nor do you need to bring a donation. Come on down!
In what cities and towns will the Mission of Deeds pick up donated items?
We pick up in Stoneham, Melrose, Reading, Burlington, Wilmington, Woburn, Winchester, North Reading, Lynnfield and Wakefield. Please call us at (781) 944-9797 to learn more about our pick up services.