ANDOVER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — An Andover non-profit has gained a massive online following, and they say it’s translated into more help for local families in need.
Project Home Again Founder and President Nancy Kanell created a TikTok account for her organization in March 2020, as the non-profit stopped most in person services. Project Home Again coordinates with social workers to furnish the homes of low-income families, largely in the Merrimack Valley.
In Kannel’s videos, she cheerfully curates the items families request, including furniture, bedding, kitchen supplies, and appliances. The account now has over 241,200 followers and over 5.8 million likes on their videos.
Kannel says with the outpouring of followers and support, Project Home Again has been able to request specific donations through an Amazon wishlist, and new packages come every day from destinations around the globe.
Now, the non-profit is providing largely new items to families, whereas most furnishings were gently used in the past. And for the first time in the organization's 19-year history, families can request specific styles or themes for their furnishings: what colors they like, what their kids like.
"I estimate we have gotten over $20,000 worth of stuff," Kanell told WBZ's Madison Rogers.
Along with the expanded services, more families are getting help. Kanell said the organization is on track to service 40% more people in 2021 than the previous year.
"I did not think that would be the COVID story we'd be telling," Kanell said. "We're serving [families] more and more fully which is wonderful and shocking."
WBZ's Madison Rogers (@madisonwbz) reports.