Fran Heitzman

3:20 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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"We are a throwaway society and that's crazy. Someone needs that stuff." 

You could call Fran Heitzman's volunteer effort a modern day 'loaves-and-fishes' story. In 1987, while Fran Heitzman was working as a custodian at Pax Christi Church, someone dropped off a crib that was no longer wanted. Fran knew he could find a good home for the still-useable piece of furniture. Word soon spread that Fran was collecting good used furniture to give to others in need. Shortly there after, he founded Bridging, Inc. In just seventeen years, that one crib has multiplied into enough furniture to stock a 26,000 square foot warehouse! 

Qualifying families-in-need are able to choose furniture and supplies to stock their entire homes or apartments. Fran says that freedom to choose instills pride and dignity in the people who walk through the doors of Bridging, Inc. "In our country, no kid should ever have to sleep on the floor." Bridging, Inc. now serves over 10,000 people each year. 

The nonprofit organization is powered by eight paid staffers and 1,000 volunteers. It receives no government funding. Fran's tireless energy is a primary reason for Bridging's success. At age 78, he's not about to give up his passion. "Every morning I pray 'thanks for giving me another day. I hope you can keep up.'" To learn more about Bridging, Inc. go to www.bridging.org .

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