ENGLEWOOD — Three needy households will receive unexpected gifts Friday when Chicago-based Midway Moving and Storage Inc. surprises them with donated furniture.
One family is a single mother with seven children living in a subsidized Englewood apartment using a Housing Choice Voucher; another beneficiary is a disabled man living in a senior citizens building in East Village; and the third family lives in a West Pullman home, according to Matt Aguilar, a spokesman for the Chicago Housing Authority.
Jerry Siegel, owner of Midway Moving, said he got the idea to start the Makeover Program from his 15-year-old son, Spencer, and 17-year-old daughter, Isabelle, who will accompany him to deliver the furniture.
"About six months ago they were in our warehouse looking at donated furniture and suggested we donate it to needy families," said Siegel, who lives in north suburban Deerfield. "That's when I contacted the CHA and asked for their help in identifying families."
Aguilar said Midway already had a relationship with the CHA as one of its vendors and was glad to help select the families to receive the furniture.
Aguilar said CHA employees recently had visited the three homes and noticed they had little or no furniture, leading them to suggest the residents as beneficiaries of Siegel's generosity.
"This was not an official program that required an application process. It was simply a unique, generous act by one of CHA’s longtime contracting partners that wished to make a one-time donation to CHA families in need of furniture," Aguilar said.
But Siegel said he would like to make the furniture donations to families annually.
The furniture donated is gently used but is in "great shape," Siegel said.
"In the past we have received furniture from many Chicago Bulls players as we are the official moving company for the Bulls organization," he said.
He added that previous Bulls players who have donated furniture to his company include Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Luol Deng, who was recently traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Regardless who donated the furniture, Aguilar said the agency is grateful.
"This is a wonderful program, and CHA is thankful to Midway Moving for extending this generous offer to CHA residents," he said.