Dear Friend of PHA,

The year 2018 was both exhilarating and heartbreaking for all of us at PHA. If you have not heard the news, we are opening up a second location in Andover. We are growing and helping our clients more completely than ever before. This new space will allow us to treat our clients to a more retail feeling experience when they “shop” with us, and will allow us to store more inventory to reach our goal of having enough stock on hand to fulfill each client’s needs in one visit.

Our hearts broke for those affected by the gas line explosions and fires. I was incredibly proud of Alyssa’s contribution to the community over the weeks that followed. She tirelessly helped keep everyone updated as to where they could go for help and where they could reach out to help others. We are partnering with officials in Lawrence to furnish homes as people find new housing – a huge undertaking because in most cases all was lost. The biggest monetary need for this effort will be to purchase new mattresses. We are estimating we will need at least  $25,000 additional dollars in our Good Night Sleep fund to cover the costs, bringing this year’s budget to $44,000 for mattresses alone. Providing new kitchen items for these families will also strain our budget. We estimate we will need an additional $3,000 to meet their needs.

We felt 2018 would be special for us right from the start. If you have not seen the short film lovingly made by Lindytown Films about one of our families, I encourage you to hop onto go to our home page and take a look. You will be inspired by Natalie and Anthony – they captured our hearts and we admire them so. Our friends in the film industry continue to fill PHA with set decorations and our clients are thrilled to take home beautiful pieces of furniture and home décor. Steve Fortier, owner of the Canal Street Antique Market, graciously gave us a booth in the Design Center to sell antiques and vintage items donated to us that better serve our clients by selling to purchase necessities for their homes. It has been a huge success! WBZ Radio chose us to be the charity they profiled for the month of December for their WBZ Cares initiative. We are so grateful and touched by all of those who have reached out to us after hearing about us. Tune in to WBZ to hear our PSA’s daily and you can hear our interviews with Doug Cope on the WBZ Cares site.

In 2018, our directed giving initiatives doubled. Not only can you choose to give to our Good Night Sleep and A Place at the Table Programs,  we now have Dressers for Success. Because so many dressers are needed that we cannot possibly keep up with demand with donated dressers alone, we are piloting a program to purchase assemble dressers to give to families along with those that have been donated. This will allow us to give more than one dresser per family when needed.  In the past, we have only been able to give one dresser per family to make sure each family that was in need was able to receive one. We also have our first donor initiated program, Papa’s Pillows. One of our long time donors started a fund in memory of her father to provide clients with new bed pillows. With family and friends contributing, we will be able to keep this program running for years to come and now all donors can choose this option when making a donation if it speaks to them.

This year also ushered in some wonderful new volunteers to join our already marvelous group. Each client who entered our door was greeted warmly with a smile and treated with the dignity and respect that PHA has become known for with the more than 400 social workers who currently refer clients. Hundreds of families came to us in need this year and all left with a renewed sense of home. Our desire is that each person who visits is able to go back to where they live, bring in all they selected at PHA, and feel like they are finally home. We hope there is goodness and caring attached to the furniture and furnishings that surround them.

I wish each of you could come visit us and feel what we do every day – the joy in PHA is palpable. If you are in the area, please do! It is a place where good things happen because of good people. We could not do it without your help and support. If you have already made a donation, THANK YOU from the bottom of hearts. If you are still thinking about it, I humbly ask you to consider giving to Project Home Again this year. We will turn every dollar you give into something tangible our clients’ need, whether it be a pillow or blanket, pots and pans, a toaster, or a new mattress.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019,

Nancy Kanell

Founder, Project Home Again

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