About Us – Our Mission
Household Goods provides a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home.
Our Founders, Ira and Barbara Smith
In 1990, Barbara Smith put a notice in her church bulletin asking for furniture donations so she and her husband, Ira, could help furnish an apartment for a woman and her young sons fleeing violence in San Salvador. After receiving far more than was needed, they offered the excess to the local housing authority, which then began telling people to call the Smiths directly if they were in need of household furnishings they needed but could not afford.
From these beginnings, Household Goods was born.
In the early years, donations of goods outgrew the space available in the Smiths’ yard and carport, and spread to occupy satellite locations around town. Occupancy of one such location, a church basement, led to incorporation as an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit in 1999. The practicality of continuous steady growth to meet increasing need eventually necessitated centralizing the operation. In 2004, they settled into their permanent, 10,000 square foot home at 530 Main Street in Acton, a convenient location for donors, volunteers and clients. By matching the great need for household items with the generosity of the surrounding communities, Household Goods has served over 35,000 individuals and families since its inception, always mindful of maintaining an environment of dignity and respect for everyone involved. Each year, hundreds of volunteers commit over 30,000 hours of their time, working with over 300 social service agencies to help 2,500 families throughout eastern and central Massachusetts make a home.