A Hand Up has a new warehouse

It toAHU pix No. 19ok three days over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but we have officially moved into our new location at 93 Talcott Road, West Hartford!!  The building is located at the corner of Talcott Road and Grassmere Avenue.  The new warehouse is twice the size as the old one and features a large space where the furniture is stored, a room for linens, blankets, comforters and other bedding, a room for silverware, glassware, dishware and cookware, a “miscellaneous” room and a large office.  We found out that the truck doesn’t fit into the bay garage (another story for another time) so we have additional space for staging deliveries and for the bed rack.

AHU pix No. 23 AHU pix No. 2 AHU pix No. 3 AHU pix No. 12We started Friday afternoon and spent three hours clearing items off of the shelves and packing them into boxes.  We also made a delivery to a woman and her four kids, which helped clear a little space in our former space.  The team was so efficient, we delivered a fair amount of the packed up items and bags of linens and blankets to our new space before we were done for the day.  Thank you to the Friday team of Jimmy and Johnny Hughes, Sam, Michele, Lucy and Nick Paul, Jim Rattigan, Todd Polley (and his pick-up truck), Linda Connor, Kate McDermott, Donna (in her walking boot!) and Jeff Vibes, founding Board Member Diane Mack, Chris Keegan, Conner Mahon (home from Bryant College for the weekend) and Mike Fishman.

AHU pix No. 11Their hard work set the table for the following day when the exodus began at 10:00am and lasted a good 4 to 5 hours.  The move started with the shelving and as many boxes and bags that we could fit into the box truck, Todd’s pick-up, Linda’s sedan and several mini-vans.  While a good half of the volunteers worked in the new warehouse unpacking boxes and bags and organizing the items onto the shelves, the other half made multiple trips back and forth between the two locations to move all of the furniture.  A huge thank you to returning volunteers Jimmy and Johnny Hughes who, besides assisting on the movement of the furniture, oversaw the dismantling of the bed rack, put up sheet rock on an insulated wall at our new location and then put the bed rack back up!  Another pat ‘o the back to the Rattigan family, Jim, Meg, Sue and Thomas.  Jim and Thomas played the lead role in organizing the furniture area while Meg and Sue ran point on setting up the silverware/glassware/dishware/cookware room.  Kudos go to the Keating clan, Dan, Sue, Danny and Sean.  Dan, Danny and Sean did the lion’s share of the heavy lifting to and from both locations while Sue, with assistance from Linda Roy, Bronwyn Rolon, Bronwyn’s daughter, and her bestie Natalie Lytle, set up the linen/bedding room.  Playing multiple roles of movers, organizers, unpackers, and putting away-ers and deserving of a huge thank you are Evelyn and Mike Fishman, Eric, Colleen and Ethan Lichtenberger, Dave Houpert (leader of Aetna’s Team Air), Chris Keegan (returning for a second day) and his dad Tom, and Todd Polley who has to get MVV (Most Valuable Volunteer) for all of his time, his truck and his can do attitude.  Sam Paul took pictures and stayed out of everybody’s way.

We are ready to get back to work making a positive difference in the lives of our clients who need household items to fill their empty apartments.  One more THANK YOU to everyone that helped us over the weekend.