ACTON (CBS) — It happens here, in Acton, where a company of Minutemen answered Paul Revere’s call to fight in the battle of Lexington and Concord. This residential community has nine drumlins, which are hills made from glacial deposits, and it’s the hometown of actor Steve Carrell.

There is also a steady stream of giving at a warehouse in Acton where a charity is working to make every house, a home.

At HouseHold Goods, they want the experience to be different. People can come and shop like they are in a furniture store.

“This is our upholstered furniture, we have the upholstered chairs, and then the couches,” showed executive director Sharon Martens.

At HouseHold Goods in Acton, clients can pick out furniture free of charge (WBZ-TV)

There are separate areas to shop for kitchen and bedroom, living room and baby. But here, the bill is always zero.

“We take in donations of furniture and other household items and we give in away for free to people who need them,” said Martens. The mission of HouseHold Goods is to set people up, with everything they need, from the bed and the couch to measuring cup, the silverware, and the sheets.

“Oftentimes people find a place to live but nothing is in it and that’s where we come in.”

Founded 30 years ago by local couple Ira and Barbara Smith, the charity has exploded and now helps more than 35,000 families every year.

Executive director Sharon Martens shows off a starter kitchen set. (WBZ-TV)

This place is powered by volunteers, there are more than 900 of them every year. They clean and fix and check every single thing that comes in.

For people like Madge Evans, a retired school teacher, who said she has been volunteering for 10 years, the secret is simple.

“I get a lot out of being a volunteer, clients get a lot because we are able to help them, and the donors benefit from having a positive place to put things. So how can we lose?” Evans said.

Every client is referred to HouseHold Goods by a social service agency. They come from all over the area, some are fire victims, veterans, domestic abuse victims, and minimum wage workers.


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