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.


 Household Goods Founders, Ira and Barbara Smith

Our History

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.

The Need We Address

The people served by Household Goods have at least one thing in common — they need help during a difficult time.

Many in need are:

  • Recently homeless
  • Veterans
  • Fleeing domestic violence
  • Children, youth or elderly in need of services
  • Living with disability or illiness
  • Victims of fire
  • Families trying to get by on minimum wage


Ira and Barbara Smith

Board of Directors

Executive Director – Sharon Martens
President – Mimi Deck Rutledge
Vice President – Brigid Bieber
Clerk – John Fallon
Treasurer – Priscilla Gannon


Susan Arapoff
Mary E. Bassett (Corporate Counsel)
Mike Broderick
Mike Coutu
Steve DeSandis
Janet Glidden
Tracey Guth
Patrick Harlan
Shuaib Ismail
Emil J. Ragones
Audrey Trieschman

Directors Emeriti

James Eldridge
Lee Mapletoft
Mark Sigman*

* deceased


Executive Director -Sharon Martens

Volunteer Coordinator (Scheduling) – Marilynn Kaplan

Volunteer Coordinator (Groups and Training) – Kirsten Spargo

Inventory Coordinator – Mike Liuzzo

Facilities Manager – Leon Rozek

Household Goods Annual Reports

Read and download our most recent Annual Reports.