Debbie’s Treasure Chest was founded in 2007 to provide aid and support for disadvantaged and at-risk families in the Merrimack Valley and surrounding areas. It began with three adopted children, Maxine and Talia Harvey and their friend Anna McCabe, reflecting on how very lucky they were to have been adopted by loving families, capable of supporting them. The trio wanted to give back to their community, and to reach out a hand to those children who had not been as lucky as they. For several years before founding, the three had collected toys to donate to foster children through the Department of Children and Families, aided by their favorite social worker, Debbie D’Lorio. Sadly, Debbie passed away in 2006, but her influence lived on as the girls’ charitable project received its name.
In its first holiday season, donations to Debbie’s Treasure Chest filled the Harvey family garage - seven times over - with toys and gifts for donation. In 2007, DTC opened their first warehouse, donated by Sal Lupoli and Susan Leger Ferraro. The initial project of holiday giving turned into a year-round effort, with the children leading their local community in collecting and distributing over 50,000 items of clothing, books, and toys to deprived and at-risk families in the area. In 2010, Anna McCabe moved on to other endeavors, but the Harvey children remained steadfast in their desire to help local families and continue their work at DTC. The organization moved to Everett Mills, into a larger and wheelchair-assessable warehouse donated by Marianne Nadel and National Fiber Technology. In 2015, Harvey Girls, Inc. was federally approved as the 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity that operates Debbie's Treasure Chest.
The operations of DTC have grown to include many new programs beyond their warehouse, which has presently served over 2000 families. Their primary focus is on clothing, books, and toys, as well as brand-new toiletries, scholastic tools, and other necessities. They have held an annual coat drive, providing over 1000 coats hand-picked for local children within the past 5 years. They have expanded their toy drive to work with local police and firefighters in granting every possible holiday wish they receive. In 2015, DTC implemented a new leadership program for middle and high schoolers known as the Susan Paul Sirkman Leadership Program, which fosters the message at the heart of DTC; giving back to the community and supporting the disadvantaged is just as relevant and important for children as it is for adults. Thus far, over 60 youths have participated in this program. In 2016, the Marcia and Fred Altman Community Service was initiated targeting high risk youths to inspire service and to train for employment.
Debbie’s Treasure Chest is staffed by a part time manager Riley Townsend and the community service coordinator Tim Meyer. We are also assisted by local volunteers; Harvey Girls, Inc. is a volunteer based organization. Maxine Harvey is a graduate student at Clark University and Talia Harvey is freshman at the Univeristy of Massachusetts Amherst. Both young women remain committed to their charitable efforts, The remarkable funding of the Cummings Foundation has sustained our growth. Three young children started a remarkable project that has grown beyond what we once dared to dream. We are sincerely hoping that your wonderfully generous donations will consider helping their dream grow even more, to expand its reach and help those in who are deprived and in need to remain alive and well no matter the circumstances of their birth.
Maxine Harvey, Co-Founder
Maxine Harvey, age 23, started Debbie’s Treasure Chest when she was just 11 years old. She was recently recognized for her efforts as the recipient of the Helen Diller Tikkun Olam Award where she received a $36,000.00 stipend. She was awarded the ALANA Leadership Award last year as well. She has received numerous governmental citations from United States Senators Kerry, Markey and Warren, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, State Senators Baddour and Ives, Representative Campbell, and Mayors Manzi and Zanni. Maxine serves as the President of Harvey Girls, Inc. Currently, Maxine is a graduate student Clark University pursuing a Master's in Business Adminstration.
Talia Harvey, Co-Founder and Treasurer
Talia Harvey, age 19, started Debbie’s Treasure Chest when she was just 7 years old. She has received the JFK Making a Difference Award for her work. She has recently started the Susan Paul Sirkman Leadership Program, where she has recruited over 20 middle schoolers to participate. She has received numerous governmental citations from United States Senators Kerry, Markey and Warren, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, State Senators Baddour and Ives, Representative Campbell, and Mayors Manzi and Zanni. She received the National AXA Scholarship, the Comcast Leadership Award the College Club Scholarship for her work. Talia attends the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the Commonwealth Honors College and the Isenberg School of Business.