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Home Free: Non-profit donates furniture to families in need

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OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich., -- Inside several storage facilities in Hudsonville, Brett Morton has stuffed beds, dressers, nightstands and more. He has hundreds of items that he plans to give away, free of charge.

"A lot of different organizations assist with housing, that seems to be their primary focus. So, then the individuals moving into there need the furniture, need the things to keep the children from sleeping on the floor, to make a house a home," explained Morton. "We load up a trailer with as much as we possibly can to bless them."

Morton founded the non-profit Home Free West Michigan two years ago, alongside his wife Carissa.

"We started in the basement of our home collecting a few things here and there, and it's just expanded enormously since then," she told FOX 17 News. "There's no one that's doing this. There's truly a gap in our community and our resources and that's when we decided that we needed to step in and fill in the gap."

Along with using their basement and garage to store furniture, community donations have poured in, now filling two additional storage facilities.

Home Free West Michigan has partnered with 15 different agencies in Ottawa County. Since its inception, more than one thousand items have been delivered, helping more than 200  families in need.

"Their availability, their willingness to help, and then the fact that they deliver it to the families, just makes an absolutely huge difference," said Mary Veldink, a Parent Liasion with Jenison Public Schools. "They have donated so many beds to people that we work with, and then the kids are getting a good night's sleep, and if you get a good night's sleep, you're able to perform better in school."

Danielle Stewart with the Center for Women in Transition agrees, saying, "It's been really helpful for a lot of our clients, and it really gets rid of a lot of the barriers that they might have, in leaving an abusive situation."

Morton, a father of eight, is balancing a full-time job with coordinating and making deliveries most evenings and weekends. Still, he has plans to continue to build the operation, and hopefully expand into Allegan County next.

"It is an amazing feeling. We are truly blessed as a family, and we, in turn, bless others as a result of that," said Brett.  "Everybody's very thankful and gracious, but seeing the joy in the children's faces, knowing they're going to have a bed to sleep in... you obviously get a very good feeling from it."

Home Free West Michigan is in need of help to continue growing. Morton said they're looking for volunteers, and donations of furniture, money or storage space.

A bowling fundraiser has been set up for September 15th at Hudsonville Lanes to raise money.

To learn more about Home Free West Michigan, you can visit their Facebook page, or website.

As our Pay it Forward Person of the Month, Morton is receiving a $300 prize.

Know someone who should be featured next month? Nominate them here.

Meet Jim and Lillian Dietz, our May Pay it Forward Persons of the Month.

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