Full of Heart
Harris and McDonald became friends nearly five years ago after Harris moved here from California and began volunteering at Faith in Action in Chelsea, an outreach program founded in the late 1970s by the Ladies Guild of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. McDonald ran the group's food pantry and visited seniors and shut-ins. Harris worked in the pantry, sorted donations, and staffed the front desk.
As they worked, the two began talking about ways to fill the gaps they saw in Faith in Action's mission. For instance, FIA couldn't pick up furniture or clothing. "I'd meet people who were in town to make funeral arrangements and needed to empty a home or apartment quickly," Harris recalls, "and FIA didn't have the resources to get larger items or furniture. Many of them resorted to taking everything to dumps."
Harris and McDonald decided they would glean items that other nonprofits didn't have time to pick up or space to store, and help individuals who didn't qualify for services from other agencies.
One time, a father was under court order to furnish a separate bedroom for his son's weekend visits. "He'd lost his job and didn't have the money," says Harris. "We collected furnishings for him."