READING - At Mission of Deeds in Reading, they give people transitioning out of homelessness or domestic violence situations a fresh start in their new homes.
"It's really important for us to put people on a different path and to give them a new start," Executive Director David McIsaac told WBZ-TV.
In 1993 Tony Triglioni founded Mission of Deeds, inspired by the work he saw taking place at My Brother's Keeper. At first, Mission of Deeds was only providing new beds to get people off the floor when they moved into their first place. Now they've also added furniture, household goods and kitchen essentials.
"People who had no furniture whatsoever to be able to eat their meal on a kitchen table or sit on a couch or a recliner and watch television, where they never had that before," said Art Triglioni, Tony's son.
He volunteers with Mission of Deeds, carrying on his father's legacy.
"If my father was here, he would be so proud that we've been able to help people throughout the years and get them off the floor to sleep in a nice warm bed," Triglioni told WBZ.
They realize that just because you've transitioned into a space of your own, it doesn't mean it's a home yet.
"An empty space is not a home. An empty space needs furniture and needs a bed for you to sleep off of the floor," McIsaac said.
Except for the beds, which they buy new, all of the furniture is donated by people in 11 towns surrounding their warehouse in Reading. For the clients, everything is free of charge.
"These people are really in desperate straits when they come here. There's a lot of nervous anxiety that they have when they walk through the doors but all that melts away when they see this entire warehouse is available for them to select furniture at no cost," McIsaac explained.
They pick up the furniture from donors three days a week. All they ask is it's outside already so they can pick it up quickly to move onto the next donor.
McIsaac said the "neighbors helping neighbors" mentality is strong within their community and that people are happy to give their gently used furniture a second life.
"There's so much furniture that's diverted to a landfill and we are able to divert that back to people in need," he said.
Mission of Deeds provides a showroom experience for their clients. They let them try out different couches and take whatever they need to fill their new home. Clients bring their own rental truck after being referred by a case worker or official who knows their situation, like a therapist or school nurse. Once they've picked out everything, volunteers load the rental truck for them.
"They are just amazed that they come in here with no red tape and they're treated with dignity and respect. They leave with a bounce in their step. They're so excited to fill up their new home," McIsaac said.
They've provided more than 25,000 beds and helped furnish more than 15,000 homes since starting 30 years ago.
"It's absolutely amazing the amount of growth that we've seen and felt throughout the years. We just can't describe how great it's been," Triglioni told WBZ.
If you live in a town surrounding Reading and wish to donate gently used furniture or are a case worker who has a client that needs furniture, contact Mission of Deeds here.
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