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Household Goods Inc.

 530 Main Street
 Acton, MA 01720
[P] (978) 635-1710 x 7
[F] (978) 266-1113
Sharon Martens
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3468139

LAST UPDATED: 01/28/2019
Organization DBA Household Goods, Inc.
Former Names Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts, Inc. (2014)
Household Goods Recycling Ministry (2008)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

Household Goods provides a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home.

Mission Statement

Household Goods provides a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $3,900,000.00
Projected Expense $3,900,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Household Goods, Inc.

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Household Goods provides a full range of donated furniture and household items, free of charge, to help people in need make a home.

Background Statement

Starting from a single act of kindness in 1990, Household Goods has grown to help 2,500 families in need each year. It began when Barbara and Ira Smith decided to help a Salvadoran refugee who had fled her country with her children and little else. The Smiths asked those in their community for usable furniture and household items for the family and offered their carport as a collection point. They were overwhelmed by the response from people who were happy to give away gently used furniture and household items. The Smiths soon became aware that many more families in the region could not afford basic household essentials. They appealed to surrounding communities for donated goods to help one family at a time furnish a home and begin new lives.

From these modest beginnings, and propelled by the Smiths’ dedication and passion, Household Goods has grown into a team of 850 volunteers dramatically improving the lives of thousands every year. Since 2004, when tracking of statistical data began, Household Goods has helped over 120,000 people from 40,000 households to rebuild their lives. We have provided, at no charge to the client or agency that referred them, over 560,000 household items such as beds, tables, chairs, sheets, towels, and kitchenware. These numbers tell a remarkable story of a growing need for basic home furnishings matched with an ongoing desire to give.

Social service agencies rely on Household Goods to help their clients from all over Massachusetts, including the Boston Foundation catchment area. These agencies refer a diverse group of people in need to Household Goods, including

  • Veterans
  • People emerging from homelessness
  • Women and children escaping domestic violence
  • Victims of fires, natural disasters, and other catastrophes
  • People with illness or disabilities
  • Refugees
  • Families trying to get by on minimum wage

Remarkably, all of this grew from one couple reaching out to help a neighbor in need.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments for 2017

  1. Provided over 58,000 donated household items to 2,419 Massachusetts households of limited means who are in crisis or transition (3,999 adults and 2,913 children). This includes 26,800 items provided to 1,128 households (1,797 adults and 1,208 children) from The Boston Foundation catchment area. These items include basic home furnishings such as beds, tables and chairs, sofas, dressers, and boxes and bags containing dishes, cookware, utensils, sheets, towels and blankets.
  2. Supported 310 social service agencies and programs by helping their clients furnish their homes. Without Household Goods, many of these people would be sleeping on the floor, eating off cardboard boxes, and living without basic household essentials.
  3. Launched the Barbara and Ira Smith Fund, a long-term fund to strengthen the financial sustainability of Household Goods into the future. The Smith Fund was an opportunity for donors to recognize the community Barbara and Ira built to help people in need throughout Massachusetts. 
  4. Ensured the sustainability of the critical volunteer program by applying for and receiving pro bono management consulting services from Boston-based Community Consulting Teams. Each year 850 volunteers donate over 40,000 hours of their time, without which fulfilling our mission would be impossible.

Goals for 2019

  • Provide essential items to all clients on the date of their appointment.
  • Cultivate a steady donor and volunteer base by promoting community awareness of Household Goods and seeking opportunities for large volume acquisitions.
  • Ensure adequate volunteer staffing for all aspects of the operation.
  • Initiate the first phase on the Master Site Plan, which includes creating a one way traffic pattern to improve safety for donors, clients, and volunteers.

Needs Statement

  1. Matching donations of goods to demand. Although requests for assistance are constant throughout the year, donations of goods spike in spring and summer and fall sharply in winter. This fluctuation requires that we acquire and store enough inventory during the warmer months to fulfill our mission throughout the winter. Renting temporary storage and other related expenses cost us $25-30,000 per year.

  2. Truck replacement. We need $50,000 to replace a truck nearing the end of its useful life.

  3. General operating support. Even with donated goods and a volunteer workforce, it costs us an average of $200 to furnish each client’s home. Furnishing 2,500 homes costs us $500,000 annually.

  4. Volunteers. Maintaining an adequate volunteer work force is an ongoing challenge. It takes an average of of 800 volunteer hours per week to furnish 2,500 homes annually with 58,000 items.

CEO Statement

The most remarkable thing about Household Goods is our volunteer team (literally hundreds strong), which runs the organization and truly sets it apart from other non-profits. They give 40,000 hours a year of their time and many talents for the simple purpose of helping people in need make a home.

Most Household Goods clients have recently experienced trauma, transition, and a journey past roadblocks and red tape to find stable housing. When they come to Household Goods to choose what they need to furnish their empty living spaces, they are shown dignity and respect. They are welcomed, paired with a volunteer guide, and offered a full range of furniture and household goods, well organized and thoughtfully displayed. The level of care is evident in the quality of items that make it to the showroom floor – only things that clients will find useful and in good condition.

Volunteers, many of whom dedicate several days a week to the never-ending tasks at hand, vacuum couches, assemble eclectic sets of dishes, sort and neatly bundle bed linens by size, make minor workshop repairs, and keep the shelves neat and well stocked. Volunteers also handle all the office and administrative duties, as well as the fundraising, grant writing, public relations/communications and governance work needed. The volunteers represent all ages, stages of life, and abilities. Our four-person staff plays a supporting role to this remarkable volunteer-run effort, and makes my job as Executive Director a privilege.

Household Goods is also remarkable for its unwavering focus on a very simple mission. We do one thing to the best of our ability – helping people in need make a home, free of charge. Founders Barbara and Ira Smith set an infectious standard for integrity, hard work, a sense of humor, and always putting clients first. Even through significant growth over the past five years, Household Goods remains true to its roots, and seeks to set the best practice standard for other programs seeking to replicate this successful model.

  • Sharon Martens, Executive Director

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

Household Goods helps anyone in need as identified by a Massachusetts based social service agency. Roughly half of our clients live in The Boston Foundation catchment area.

Organization Categories

  1. Housing, Shelter - Housing Support
  2. Human Services - Human Services NEC
  3. Environment - Recycling

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Household Goods, Inc.

Household Goods has one program: we collect usable household goods from donors and redistribute them to families and individuals in need. This program benefits our clients, social service agencies, donors, volunteers, and the environment. Key features of our program include

  • Household Goods helps people with limited means who need but cannot afford basic furniture and household items, as identified by social service agencies. The people coming for help may be emerging from homelessness, veterans, immigrants or refugees, families struggling to get by on minimum wage, victims of fire, those fleeing domestic violence, and others.
  • Household Goods has specific hours set aside to accommodate the alternating processes of receiving and redistributing donated goods.
  • During receiving shifts, volunteers pick up donations from residential and organizational donors. Other donors bring their items to Household Goods where volunteers gratefully accept them, process the items, and place them in designated areas of the display floor.
  • Household Goods aims to make the process as efficient as possible for referring agencies to work with us and for clients to obtain the household essentials they need. Household Goods offers timely appointments, usually within a week of the date when a social service agency first submits an online referral.
  • During hours set aside for client visits, Household Goods welcomes clients and helps each one select the items they need. Everything someone needs to set up a home is available: Beds, sofas, tables, chairs, dressers, pots and pans, dishes, sheets, towels, and more.
  • Clients arrive with their own truck and a list of needed items. They are paired with a Household Goods volunteer who helps them “shop” for their items. Volunteers are continuously available to answer questions, give advice, and help load items onto clients’ trucks. Feedback from agencies and clients indicates they value the caring, respectful attitude that is evident throughout the process.
Budget  --
Category  Human Services, General/Other Household Goods Provision
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Veterans Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  Household Goods measures success by the number of clients served, number of goods distributed, and number of active volunteers. In a typical recent year, over 850 volunteers redistribute 58,000 items to about 2,500 client households.
Program Long-Term Success 

Since 2004, when tracking of statistical data began, Household Goods has helped over 120,000 people from 40,000 households to rebuild their lives. We have provided, at no charge to the client or agency that referred them, over 560,000 household items such as beds, tables, chairs, and boxes/bags of smaller items such as linens and kitchenware.

Our service is critical because social service agencies report that these families and individuals are much more responsive to interventions when they have stable, adequately furnished housing. The success of Housing First at reducing chronic homelessness in Boston and other cities is a case in point.

Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

Three examples:


In 2017 WBUR reported the compelling, step-by-step story of Lenny’s journey out of decades of homelessness brought on by addiction and untreated mental illness. With help from the Pine Street Inn, Lenny received medical and behavioral health treatment and found a small apartment.

While relieved to have a place to live, it was completely empty. Lenny slept on the floor and had no way to cook meals until he came to Household Goods. Here he chose all the items he needed to turn his empty apartment into a home.

Lenny appreciates the stability that comes from having a home of his own. Now he spends much of his free time at shelters encouraging others with his story. You can find more on Lenny’s inspiring journey, and Household Goods’ contribution to his newfound stability, at our website,


Jose and Tibisay were among the thousands who lost everything they owned when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Facing an indefinite period without water or electricity, they relocated to Massachusetts to be near family. The transition was especially difficult given the special needs of their 12-year old daughter, but they were relieved to find a place to call their own, even if they had few furnishings.

Their local Housing Authority referred them to Household Goods, where they chose all the items they needed. They were grateful for the assistance of their volunteer, Nancy, who helped them find the right-sized table for their small kitchen and everything else they needed for a home in which to rebuild their lives.


Charlene is a 26-year old woman with a physical disability; she uses a wheelchair for all her mobility. Until recently, she lived with her parents, but had always dreamed of living independently. Signing a lease for an apartment gave her an opportunity to fulfill that dream. One last obstacle stood in her way: Charlene needed furniture.

Charlene was referred to Household Goods by a nonprofit committed to providing community-based care to individuals with complex physical disabilities.

She says “what I like most about having my own apartment is independence… I am free to make my own decisions. When I first got my apartment, I was worried because I did not know where I was going to find furniture, but at Household Goods, I found everything I was looking for!” Charlene wants all the volunteers to know that “because of Household Goods, my house looks wonderful. Thank you, thank you to Household Goods for helping me, for being there.”

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sharon Martens
CEO Term Start May 2010
CEO Email
CEO Experience Sharon Martens has been with Household Goods since 2010 and has been Executive Director since December 2011. Prior to Household Goods, Sharon was the Assistant Program Director at an Early Intervention program where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of a therapeutic program for children from birth to three. She was responsible for a staff of 50, including consultants and per-diem employees, and managed a budget of $1.6 million. Prior to Early Intervention, Sharon worked as a Project Coordinator and Professional Relations Specialist.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Daily Point of Light 4/16/18 Points of Light 2018
Community Service Award - VA Supportive Housing US Department of Urban Development 2017
Myra Kraft Community MVP Award New England Patriots 2017
Andrus Award for Community Service for People 50 and Over - 2nd Place AARP Massachusetts 2016
Jorge Fildago Community Service Award Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers 2014
A Salute to Women of Our Region Lowell Sun 2013
Celebration of Excellence Award, Community Service category Enterprise Bank 2013
Gold Honoree of the Decade, Community Champion category National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and MetLife Foundation 2012
Award for providing excellence in conservation Massachusetts Daughters of the American Revolution 2011
Outstanding Partner of the Year Solutions at Work 2011
Providing outstanding work training to people with disabilities Merrimack Special Education Collaboration 2011


Affiliation Year
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter --
Furniture Bank Association of North America --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


  • Household Goods collaborates with over 300 social service agencies across Massachusetts each year to identify and connect with people in need of our services.

  • We collaborate with Boston College to collect usable household items from students as they move out of their dorms at the end of the academic year. Household Goods collects approximately 6,000 usable items in the annual two week move out period.
  • We have ongoing relationships with many universities, moving companies, furniture retailers, clean-out companies, and others who donate usable furniture and other household items.

  • We customize group volunteer opportunities for faith communities, corporations, and service organizations who want to volunteer as a group for a worthy cause. These organizations also hold collection drives for usable items needed to help people make a home.
  • Household Goods actively works with schools and programs supporting people with disabilities to create successful and productive volunteer opportunities.
  • Household Goods offers volunteer opportunities for those completing court ordered community service.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 850
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 100
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 4
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Sally Savelle
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Chair Term Jan 2018 - Jan 2020
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Mary Basset McWalter, Barron & Boisvert Voting
Mr. Mike Broderick Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Mike Coutu Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. John Fallon Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Priscilla Gannon Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Robert Goddard Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Barbara Howland Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Beth Neeley Kubacki Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Sharon Martens Household Goods, Inc. Voting
Ms. Mimi Deck Rutledge Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Melissa Saalfield Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Sally Savelle Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Michael Smith Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Audrey Treischman Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Philip vanderWilden Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Jehan Wren Community Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 18
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 11
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Governance and Nominating
  • Operations
  • Technology
  • Volunteer

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $3,900,000.00
Projected Expense $3,900,000.00
Form 990s

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audited Financials

2016 Audited Financials

2015 Audited Financials

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $4,034,566 $3,665,710 $3,702,004
Total Expenses $3,731,209 $3,606,967 $3,523,724

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$61,800 $45,150 $64,500
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $531,543 $369,846 $315,179
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $25,589 $44,178 $57,619
Investment Income, Net of Losses $375 $242 $57
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $71,784 $68,722 $176,303
Revenue In-Kind $3,343,475 $3,137,572 $3,088,346
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $3,504,757 $3,382,736 $3,255,976
Administration Expense $132,505 $139,104 $191,406
Fundraising Expense $93,947 $85,127 $76,342
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.08 1.02 1.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses 94% 94% 92%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 14% 18% 14%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $2,338,457 $2,085,980 $2,111,223
Current Assets $593,058 $393,793 $512,731
Long-Term Liabilities $912,282 $964,071 $1,038,965
Current Liabilities $73,279 $72,370 $81,462
Total Net Assets $1,352,896 $1,049,539 $990,796

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 6.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 8.09 5.44 6.29

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 39% 46% 49%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financial statements. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


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