Turning tragedy into an opportunity to give and help
When neighbors experience a tragedy, like a house fire that takes all their possessions, it is understandable to want to help, but often it isn’t easy to know how.
Greta Bajarmi, CEO and co-founder of Golden Group Roofing talked of her concern with her friend and CEO/founder Lysa Miller of Ladybugz Interactive Agency about her desire to give back to her community in meaningful ways. Lysa had recently created a campaign with her clients to help raise money for Fresh Start Furniture Bank in Hudson, MA. Fresh Start Furniture Bank collects gently used donated furniture and home goods from the public. Then they distribute them to people in need who have been vetted by the agency.
Greta remembers, “Lysa told me about Fresh Start and how she was helping to raise money for them, and I knew I wanted to get involved.”
Greta Bajarmi explained that she migrated to the USA at the age of nine from Tirana, Albania. She knew what it was like to “go without” as a child. She remembers her family did not have the money to buy new furniture, so they got their home furnishings from the Salvation Army and Goodwill.
“No matter how much money you have – no matter how rich or poor – if you can’t come home to comfort, you will feel discouraged and will struggle internally. People who are struggling, yet can get comfort in their homes, gain the support they need and the strength to live another day,” Greta said.
“If you donate furniture to someone who really needs it, you are giving them the sense and comfort of home.”
About Fresh Start Furniture Bank in Hudson, MA
Fresh Start Furniture Bank volunteers help those families in surrounding communities who have been referred by a social service agency. They are then assigned a personal shopper who helps them select their items. Those served by Fresh Start have at least one thing in common in that they need help during a difficult time.
Clients include women and children from abusive domestic situations; those transferring from a shelter or recovery residence; individuals in recovery from physical and mental illness or addiction; veterans; victims of fires, floods, or hurricanes; refugees and recent immigrants; and low-income families. Fresh Start volunteers contribute over 16,000 hours of service per year. They have helped over 3,000 families turn empty spaces into homes. They have also kept over 130,000 items out of the waste stream.
Lysa became familiar with the team at Fresh Start and knew she wanted to help them with their mission. She created a campaign which challenged her Ladybugz clients to match her donation to Fresh Start and Greta signed on enthusiastically.
Located in Hudson, MA, Fresh Start accepts monetary donations as well as furniture and household goods. They are particularly in need of blankets, new pillows, mattresses, microwaves, bath towels, twin and full size headboards, side tables, can openers, and pots and pans.
Helping in Other Ways
Golden Group donates to organizations that help those who lack the basic things that others take for granted. The company has been an active contributor to several other charitable groups, including Veterans’ organizations, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, and others. In fact, Golden Group donates $40,000 to $50,000 each year to worthy charities.
Habitat for Humanity
Golden Group Roofing was recognized for its contributions to the 2018 Habitat for Humanity Metrowest/Greater Worcester “Women Build” Event, aimed at empowering single women by helping them attain affordable housing. Many women are struggling with single motherhood and escaping poor or unsafe living conditions, a struggle that is near and dear to the heart of Greta Bajrami.
Using their quality roofing expertise to contribute to safe affordable housing for young mothers was a part of Golden Group Roofing’s mission to give back to their community.
Not only did Golden Group Roofing help raise money for the overall $64,000 donated to Habitat for Humanity, the company made a cash donation for supplies and donated a whole day of volunteer labor from their crew and a new roof with 31 square feet of quality roofing materials for a multiple unit Habitat for Humanity house in Northborough, MA. Golden Group also pledges to donate roofing materials and installations to Habitat for Humanity each year.
Giving Time and Talents
Golden Group participates in the Worcester State University Adopt a Scholar program with a $1,000 donation each semester, which funds those who don’t qualify for financial aid. She also serves on the Financial Aid Committee, demonstrating that giving of one’s time and talents is just as important as donating money.
Supporting organizations that help struggling families get back on their feet is just one part of Golden Group Roofing’s commitment to giving back to its local communities in Worcester, Suffolk and Middlesex Counties. Since founding the Massachusetts roofing company, Greta serves on three different roofing boards, including the Worcester State University Foundation Board.
“We are very blessed,” stated Greta. “I believe in investing in people. I get a sense of peace and satisfaction to see how you can help others get a ‘leg up’. It makes us feel great when we help give them hope, happiness and success.”