Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan > Meijer Family Spotlight

Meijer Family Spotlight

December 2023

Welcome to our Meijer Family Spotlight Series, where we’ll feature just a few of the 2,300 families we’re providing with beds and furniture each year.

Each family who is featured will receive a $250 Meijer gift card… and we thank Meijer for their generous support of the Furniture Bank and the families we serve!

The Thurman Family

Kai and Mario Thurman lived with their 18-year-old daughter Jenna and nine-year- old son Mario in a home that had been in their family since 1973. Because it was a family home, they didn’t think about renter’s insurance… then their house caught fire.

The fire started somewhere in the kitchen, either with the stove or refrigerator, but the smoke damage to their belongings was extensive. They lost just about everything, including one of their dogs.

For a time, the family found themselves “house hopping,” either staying with relatives or at an Air B&B.

The Thurman Family

A portrait of the Thurman family that was once in their previous home, which burned down this past spring, and is now in their current home that was furnished with help from the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan.

“It was a real hardship bouncing from place to place,” says Kai. “We really needed some normalcy in our lives.”

When they eventually got into their new home in June, things felt better… though they still didn’t have furniture.

Mario Thurman

Nine-year-old Mario Thurman on the bed he received from the Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan. This year alone, the Furniture Bank will have provided beds to more than 750 children.

The Thurman Family

Nine-year-old Mario, with his father Mario and his 18-year-old sister Jenna in their new home.

“I would sit on the living room floor,” Kai says. “And even though I was thankful to have a place of our own, it didn’t feel like home yet.”

The Red Cross, which was helping the Thurmans recover from the fire, referred them to the Furniture Bank. They were able to get beds, living room furniture, three dressers and a dining set, as well as dishes, pots, pans, silverware and other housewares.

The Thurman Family

Nine-year-old Mario with his mother, Kai, sitting on their new couch provided by the Furniture Bank.

“It was so great to not have to sleep on an air mattress any longer. This was now our home… it was amazing!” Kai says. She says the experience has changed her outlook on life.

“I don’t take anything for granted anymore, even the small things. Being able to go to a home of your own just means so much.”

Kai and Mario’s family is one of more than 2,000 families the Furniture Bank will provide with beds and furniture this year. We hope you’ll help us with a year-end gift of support so we can help even more families like hers!


Meijer is a family-owned retailer committed to enriching lives in the communities it serves, following a simple philosophy established by their founder:

“Take care of your customers, team members and community … and all of them will take care of you, just like a family.”

– Fred Meijer