Winter 2019 Newsletter, MOD on a Mission | Mission of Deeds

MOD On a Mission
Community Newsletter

It’s a Wrap: 2019 in Review

Winter – December 2019 – Volume 27, Issue 1

MOD on a Mission is our online newsletter for donors, agency partners, clients, sponsors, staff and the local community. We highlight our partners who are champions in our success, fundraising events, client testimonials, staff and other relevant happenings, recognitions and showcase the commitment of our small army of volunteers.

Tell us what you think, send us an email.

A Message From Our President

Christopher J. Barrett

Jay is disabled and works limited hours. He got an apartment for the first time on his own and was reunited with his six-year-old daughter. Mission of Deeds gave them dressers, a nightstand, a kitchen set, a bookcase, linens, kitchenware and a bag of children’s books.

A victim of domestic violence, Yvette is raising three children on her own, one of them a newborn. She got a new apartment, which we filled with a bed for her, a bunk bed, a crib, bureaus, a dining set, lots of living room furniture, along with lamps, artwork, linens for the beds and much kitchenware.

John, a veteran, had become homeless with his wife and three children due to service connected issues. The family received housing and Mission of Deeds sprang into action. Our volunteers filled our truck, and their apartment, with beds, bureaus, a kitchen set, two desks, a sofa, armchairs, end and coffee tables, lamps, linens, all sorts of kitchen items and much more.

These are three of more than a thousand households we helped in the last year. The stories are all different, but also the same—people are struggling and need a helping hand.

We want to tell you about one more family. Following the passing of her husband, the Mom raised four young children on her own. The oldest was a ten-year-old boy. The Mom scrubbed floors for income, but the family also needed government assistance, as well as help from private charities at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Yet this family broke the cycle of poverty. The ten-year-old boy grew up to become highly successful in business, married and raised a family, all of whom have achieved successes of their own. Later in life, this boy, then a man almost age 70, started his own charity to help people in need.

A Message from the PresidentThis, of course, is the story of Tony Triglione and the charity is Mission of Deeds. Whether any of our clients will achieve Tony’s success is, of course, unknown, yet the more people we help, the greater becomes the chance that someone will—or has already begun to do so.

Our aim, as was Tony’s, is to give everyone we help a boost to make their lives a little brighter, by giving them the things they need to turn an empty apartment into a vibrant home. What they do from that point is up to them, but it is indisputable that a proper home can only increase the chances of a stable, happy life.

Every time we help a family, it is solely because you have given us the ability to do so. We are grateful that you let us bring your spirit of generosity into the lives of those in need every day. We cannot thank you enough.

We wish you the best of health and happiness during this holiday season and throughout the New Year.

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A Message from Our Executive Director

Bruce C. Murison

“Sally’s” experience at Mission of Deeds proceeded like many others. An elder with low income and many medical issues, she was also being evicted from her apartment. Her caseworker helped her get a new place to live, but her furniture was ripped or broken and she could not afford to replace it. An elder services organization referred Sally to us.

We gave Sally a new mattress, box spring and bed frame, linens for the bed, a loveseat, end tables, lamps, and a kitchen set. The heartwarming outcome is that an elder in need got things to make her life easier and brighter, as she began a fresh start. It happened because your wonderful generosity gave us the furniture and linens, as well as the funds to buy the bed; and our incredible volunteers, using our truck and warehouse, provided the logistics. But there are less obvious aspects that happened behind the scenes.
First, Sally’s case worker downloaded our new fillable referral form on www./.

She then sent it to us via fax. Receipt of the fax was followed by telephone communication among Sally, her caseworker and our office to arrange her appointment. Our volunteers later entered the results of Sally’s visit into our computerized data base as a permanent record.

In addition to the people, key actors in the prior paragraph were our website, our phone system and our computer network. All these are, on average, almost ten years old. In “technology years,” our systems are up there with Methuselah. When something misfires, we hold our breath that the problem is not a permanent crash.

The good news is that we are planning lots of changes. By the time we write you next holiday season, we hope to have new computers, a new phone system and a new website. We are also working on a new “look” to our communications materials, possibly even including an enhanced logo.

Even better news is that we plan to do this without using your regular donations. An extraordinarily supportive family has offered to pay the cost of a new website. A grant request to a large family foundation has been submitted to pay for new computers. The phone system upgrade may have little net cost due to telecom prices having come down. The cost of the “rebranding” has already been covered by a generous donation given for that purpose.

We are telling you this for a couple of reasons. One is to stress the continuation of good stewardship as a bedrock principle at Mission of Deeds. The vast majority of your donation check goes directly to client service, not to overhead. When we have special expenses, we seek special funding.

The other reason is so you know we are doing everything possible to keep Mission of Deeds fresh and in step with the future. As much as we wish we did not have to spend time and money on anything but moving furniture and buying beds, we realize we have to support our basic purpose with a strong administrative infrastructure. We are committed to sustaining our organization to be here as long as people need us.

You make this possible. We have the world’s best donors, volunteers and supporters. It is an honor and a privilege to help people on your behalf every day.

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Don’t Miss the 2020 Gala, March 7

Spend a Magical Night with the Mission of Deeds

Enjoy Joe Cole’s Comedy Magic at this year’s Gala!

Saturday, March 7, 2020, 6 PM
Marriot Burlington

Your Invitation and full event details are on our website:
Tables are filling quickly so, please Register by March 2.

Check out our Blog – Winter Gala Results and the Winter Gala Photo Gallery.

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The Medium and the Message

In 1964, a Canadian professor named Marshall McLuhan wrote that “the medium is the message.” We won’t try to analyze what he meant, but with the proliferation of electronic communications, media influences us more than ever. Mission of Deeds is no exception.

Many of you post about us on social media. We love this, as it helps to spread our message, informing people whom we might not otherwise reach about inventory we need to replenish and about our services to help people in need. We encourage you to link to things we post on Facebook or to forward our email blasts to anyone you wish.

If you are rewriting something for a bulletin at your house of worship, school or service club, or posting something on social media that you heard from a source other than us, we would appreciate your passing it by us before publication, just to make sure everything is “on message.” We are always here to work with you to get the word out and will support your efforts in any way we can.

We want to ramp up our presence on social media and in all methods of communication. Please let us know your thoughts on more ways we can do this, so we can use the messages in all media to help people in need.

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In Memoriam

The spirit at Mission of Deeds is that of big family. Losing family members leaves a void in the organization and in the hearts of all who knew them. In the last year, at least five people passed away who had a major impact on our charity.

CAROLYN AGOSTINO, of Woburn, made many friendships here and volunteered in our linens room weekly, except during her travels to see family. We first came to know Carolyn when she designated her late husband’s memorial donations to buy pillows for our clients, an activity then spearheaded by her friend, Catherine LaPuma, our founder’s sister. The pillow buying that Catherine and Carolyn started many years ago still continues to this day.

CLAIRE O’BRIEN, of Reading, volunteered on our phone desk for about 15 years. Her meticulous attention to thousands of phone calls was only matched by her dedication to her family and by her dry wit. Her husband was a legendary and beloved college baseball coach, but when several of her children and grandchildren were signed to contracts in professional baseball, Claire would claim each time that they got all their athletic talent from her.

RITA BRIDGES, of Reading, volunteered with us almost from the beginning of our charity. She both helped organize goods at our facility and also brought us many needy clients through her activity with St. Vincent de Paul. She had great love for her husband and family and tremendous compassion for dogs and all animals, but no picture of Rita would be complete without mentioning her humor and her jokes that could fill a book.

PATRICIA SANDFORD, of Winchester, was the wife of our long-time board member, Ed Sandford, and a donor and supporter in her own right. She and Ed met while he played for the Bruins and were married for 65 years. For many years Pat attended Mission of Deeds events and always had a kind and thoughtful word for everyone she met.

NELSON BURBANK, of Reading, was one of the area’s greatest philanthropists and principal benefactor of several institutions in town that bear his name. He was a regular donor to MOD for many years and was especially generous to the capital campaign that expanded our facility. Nelson’s long life leaves a legacy and an example that will be felt in the community and in the business world for years to come.

We remember Carolyn, Claire, Rita, Pat and Nelson with our words and in our memories, but also in our actions, as we try to help those in need with the dedication and caring that each of these wonderful people showed for so long and in so many ways.

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Monogram Loves Kids — and MOD!

If you have ever bought any of the meat jerkies produced by Monogram Foods, you have also, in a way, supported Mission of Deeds. This year, for the first time, the Monogram Loves Kids Foundation made a grant to our bed program.

A noteworthy aspect of this grant is that, rather than be decided by corporate officers, distribution of Monogram’s financial donations is voted by committees of hourly employees. We are honored that the people in Monogram’s Wilmington facility chose to support us.

We mention this, both because of the noteworthy decision process, but also to highlight the range of support we have. In the course of a year, Mission of Deeds receives money from private foundations, our holiday buy-a-bed campaign, several different fundraising events, as well as our bread and butter— hundreds of your individual donations of all sizes.

This is one of the reasons we neither seek nor accept government funding. By having support from such a wide range of sources, we are not disproportionately affected by any one donor’s decision and thus increase our chances to be financially sustainable over the long term.

So, in thanking Monogram, we are also thanking all of you for the financial stability that allows Mission of Deeds to furnish the homes of more and more needy families every year.

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MOD’s Gratitude for Our Corporate Champions!

We want to thank the many businesses that support Mission of Deeds in so many ways.

They do things like hold fundraisers, sponsor events, champion buy-a-bed and make more affordable (or even donate) needed services. Here are a few members of our Business Hall of Fame.

We plan to highlight more of you each newsletter.

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One Client’s Gratitude from the Entire Family

John, a veteran deployed from 2004-2009, and his family had been living in a homeless shelter while waiting for affordable housing. Housing was finally found this Spring. John was so grateful for the MOD volunteers who delivered and unloaded the truck at the family’s new home. While the children were at school, the furniture was delivered and they came home to a fully furnished home with big smiles on their faces. Now they truly had a home.

Here are their own words of gratitude to Mission of Deeds.

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Client Testimonials, In their Own Words

A formerly homeless family wrote:

“It means the world to us; due to your generosity our home is complete, and we are able to get back on our feet! Thank you so much.”

A formerly homeless woman wrote:

“Mission of Deeds is truly a remarkable resource for those of us that have fallen upon hard times. The staff members meet with you and are patient and kind—and make you feel relaxed and supported. The volunteers who help load the truck are super. I plan to one day give back to this incredible organization. Sometimes people need a little help. Thank you!”

A low-income family wrote:

“I am very happy and thankful for the wonderful help Mission of Deeds has provided me, equipment of my apartment. God Bless You All and may the Lord give you a lot of donations to help more people”

A hurricane victim from Puerto Rico with MS wrote:

”Gracias por toda su amabilidad hacia mi persona y por el trato cordial que me dieron. Que dios los bendiga.”
(Translation: Thank you for all your kindness towards me and for the cordial treatment that you give me. God Bless.)

A grateful family of three wrote:

“My family arrived for our appointment and from the time we walked in to the time we left we were treated so kindly. The employees/volunteers there are truly amazing and it completely warmed my heart to see how eager they were to make us happy and comfortable.Not only did they not allow us to lift a finger, but they gave us the store to our fingertips. Never once saying “no” to any item we may have wanted or needed. They worked hard and were so pleasant even when they were lifting those heavy items. Because of you all, our apartment is becoming a home and we truly can’t thank you and the donors enough!!”

Why We Support Mission of Deeds by Eric and Sally Boemer

We are so proud to be part of the Mission of Deeds family. Mission of Deeds is a truly amazing organization because it’s not just simply a charity — Mission of Deeds is an action-oriented community of people willing to provide goods and services for those in need. This simple focus on providing basic household goods and furniture—such as a bed—is at the very heart of why we give. This mission is so simple yet profound in its effectiveness.

We’ve been involved with MOD for almost ten years. It started with a simple request from a local friend about the annual golf tournament and if we’d be willing to contribute our time and efforts. We had no idea that this simple request would turn into an inspiring experience of giving. We’ve moved from golf to gala to walk to MODFEST to the board room, and all along the way witnessed the growth of the Mission of Deeds.

Over that time never has Mission of Deeds lost sight of the core mission that was instilled by Tony Triglione. As we all know, Tony grew up with not very much — but he did have his strong faith. And when he was in a position to help return the favor to those in need, he never forgot where he came from. This spirit carries on to this day and can be seen in the volunteers in the linens room and on the truck.

We are hopeful that one day there will not be a need for the Mission of Deeds. But the reality is, clients still arrive nearly every day seeking assistance. These courageous people have taken the first and probably the most important step in helping themselves to a better life. These are the things that make us so humble and that we all sometimes take for granted in life’s everyday struggles.

It’s in those moments of reflection, we realize that having such a “good life” of material things is not so important. It’s the simplicity of giving and providing at Mission of Deeds that is truly the most effective and gives us a sense of humility. This is why we give.

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Calling all Pickup Trucks

Roc O’Connell is one of the unsung heroes of Mission of Deeds. For many years, often accompanied by his wife Ren, Roc has used his own truck to pick up your donations. The log of his activity shows that he and Ren have carried and transported things like linens, kitchenware and lamps from the homes of more than 400 donors.

Roc shows no sign of slowing down, but we could use more people like him. Our Mission of Deeds box truck is swamped with requests to pick up large items. It’s by using smaller vehicles for housewares that can be carried by one person, we can service donors sooner and get those much needed items in the homes of clients faster.

If you have a suitable vehicle, and the time to pick up an occasional small donation on your own schedule, we would appreciate hearing from you. Please call us at (781) 944.9797 or email

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GuideStar — Showing You the Impact of Your Donations

At Mission of Deeds we strive to always put our clients first.

We are proud that 85% of our budget goes directly to client care. In pairing with GuideStar, we are giving our donors a look at where their donation goes and how they have a direct effect on our clients’ lives.

We hope this information helps you feel great about your decision to donate to Mission of Deeds.

GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. GuideStar’s Nonprofit Profiles provide do-nors with the information they need to make smart decisions, build connections, and learn from each other to achieve their missions.



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Who Is the Mission of Deeds?

Tony Triglione founded Mission of Deeds in 1993 to provide beds, furniture and household goods, without charge, to people in need.

Tony had grown up very poor, then became highly successful in business, but never forgot what it had been like to be poor. His vision was that Mission of Deeds be a place where people would receive needed items while being treated with kindness and respect.

People like you donate furniture and housewares to us, and we buy mattresses, box springs, pillows and linens from your financial donations. We receive no government or United Way funding— it’s all neighbors helping neighbors. Thanks to your generosity and the hard work of our volunteers, Mission of Deeds has furnished the apartments of many thousands of the previously homeless, survivors of domestic abuse, displaced veterans, the abandoned elderly and others in great need. With Tony’s vision as our guide, we look forward to serving the community for years to come.

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Photo credit – Thanks to Sun Jin Chofor sharing their work on Unsplash.