About our Project
Founder and Executive Director: Donna Hunnewell the founder of the Project, has a B.S. in Biology from Loyola College in Md. She has spent 15 years doing systems integration and technical sales for medical research and also was a corporate trainer in the engineering field.
Most recently TWP was honored in April of 2010 by the Lowell
Kiwanis with the Community Spirit Award.
Earlier in 2010 The Wish Project was recognized at the Boston State
House by SAC/Department of Developmental Services for their efforts to
incorporate developmentally delayed adults into essential volunteer staff.
In Dec of 2009 TWP received the World AIDs Day with a
Delivery Award (for delivering goods to help those with AIDS). Donna has been
recognized in Lowell by the City of Lowell Hunger/Homeless Commission with the Marty Miller Award in 2004, the Because of Her award during Women's week
2005, Unsung Heroine by the State of
MA in 2007 and in Boston by the Bank of America for being a Local Hero in
2008. She was featured in the Boston
Globe in Dec 2008 for her work.
Email email@example.com Phone 978-441-WISH(9474)
History: Donna quit her job as a corporate trainer to have kids at 35 in 2000. Through her 2 pregnancies she volunteered with many organizations helping where she could. As her babies began to outgrow their gear she could not find a place to donate her kids outgrown goods directly to someone in need. Even though she knew many social workers by then that had clients that needed the gear, there was no easy way to connect the goods to the people in need. She readily recognized this as a need that she could help with!
In late December of 2003, she got an email from an agency that a large group of families needed 70 decorated Christmas trees one week before the holiday. She sent out an email to her friends. Thanks to the Girl Scouts, all 70 trees made it to the families by Christmas. With this simple act of kindness from so many strangers via the Internet, an idea was born.
Over the past 5 years, through her work with many agencies and the City of Lowell Hunger/Homeless Commission she coordinated the development of the Wish List an Internet match service where the public could find a home for their donated donated goods through an Internet matching service.
The Wish List was a step forward. But most agencies just could not pick up goods fast enough. And donations rarely matched the needs exactly. A small warehouse was needed where the public could drop at their convenience and the caseworkers could pickup what they need only when needed.
In January of 2006 the Wish Project moved into a large warehouse space with plenty of room for volunteers and furniture. Now in addition to making wishes come true, the Project is a furniture depot and is actively procuring bulk donations that other agencies could never handle such as tractor trailer loads of mattresses, clothing etc. The Project still uses the Internet to broadcast the unfilled wishes each week out to the public. In addition, the Project can easily contact more than 400 caseworkers to disperse the bulk goods and share information. The Weekly Wish E News successfully helps get just what is needed - right to the client in need.
As of 2011 the Wish Project now works with more than 36 agencies and programs in the Merrimack Valley. We are a sharing network of information, goods, labor and trucks.
The concept of a Goods Bank is similar to that of a Food Bank. We work all year long to make sure that basic goods are available in one central location to all of the caseworkers so that they can spend more time doing their core jobs and still know that their clients get basic needed things.