Our Mission statement
The Wish Project’s mission is to help families in need establish long-term residency by providing furniture, household goods, clothing, and shoes; to provide critical immediate assistance to homeless families. and victims of fire or disaster; and to support the community. We serve with a passionate team of staff, volunteers, community partners, and board of directors.
What We Do
Our goal is to provide our local people in need with basic furniture, home goods and baby goods, while helping the planet by recycling used goods. Only when people have their basic needs met can they move forward and out of the social services system. By providing basic goods to people in crisis, we help alleviate some stress in the short term while helping to end homelessness in the long term.
Once the basic needs are met, individuals and families can begin to work towards improving their lives and gaining independence. Our aim is to help individuals and families move toward re-establishing home life once housing has been secured. In doing this, our donors recycle their no-longer-needed furnishings, clothing and home goods back into use to people who desperately need them.
We interact directly with state and local shelters and housing programs to effectuate a smooth transition for those moving from shelter or emergency situations into apartments. This provides a unique and cost-effective approach to a problem whose urgency is repeated daily in the individual circumstances of each client.
Who We Serve and How We Help
The Wish Project serves clients throughout Greater Lowell and the Merrimack Valley. Most of our clients have suffered a one-time life-altering event. More than 85% are women and children and elderly. We help homeless families, the elderly, mentally and physically ill, infants, babies, and individuals. All we require is that they are partnered with a social agency so together they can work to determine the goods and services they need. Our online referral system, dramatically reduces the paperwork and wait time between social service agency referral and The Wish Project assistance. Once the request for help, or the “Wish”, is submitted and approved All that is left is a trip to the warehouse to pick up the goods. and the “Wish” comes true
Who We Are | Staff and Governance
The Wish Project first brought on staff in 2007 and now currently employs 9 part time staff and a full time director. Each year an audit is conducted by an independent outside accounting firm. Our board meets monthly. Pre-Covid, it was our 3,000 volunteers who logged more than 7,000 volunteer hours a year that were the secret to our success – since March of 2020, we have been working with just our small staff and small group of 3 or 4 volunteers per day.
How We Accomplish Our Goals | Funding
The Wish Project is 97% privately funded. The three largest sources of revenue are donations by individuals, grants and special events.
Why is a Household Goods Bank Needed?
The Merrimack Valley communities have some of the highest poverty rates in the Commonwealth, according to the National Low Income Coalition Out of Reach 2020, Massachusetts ranks third as the most expensive state for renters. A wage of $35.52 per hour (or 111 hours per week worked at minimum wage) would be required to afford a two bedroom rental.
Even for a two income family, obtaining household goods is a daunting task under these conditions, For an at risk family struggling with a loss of a job, family tragedy or recovering from homelessness it becomes almost impossible.
The Wish Project is a critical resource for furniture, household goods and baby needs serving these families in need. In any given week, there are as many families with children, sleeping on the floor in largely unfurnished apartments in our own community. Without The Wish Project, families have very few affordable options. Household furnishings for a family is a burden that too often families can not carry – so they simply go without. With support from The Wish Project they are able to manage their expenses, reducing the likelihood of becoming homeless again.