When you don’t have a bed to sleep in, a new mattress can be the best Christmas present ever.  That’s why a Rockford furniture store is helping local residents with it’s third annual “Furniture for Families in Need” initiative.

Store owner Fadi Sahouri has been in business in Rockford for the last 7 years.  When his furniture store started showing a profit, he was so thankful he decided to give back to the community.

Sahouri says, “It started as a one, two family give away and all of the sudden it just turned out to be 20 families in the first year. We couldn’t say no to some of those families. We had the inventory in our warehouse. If we had it, we gave it away.”

This year the store received one thousand applications for it’s “Furniture for Families in Need” event.  Sahouri says giving away the furniture isn’t the hard part. It’s determining who needs it most.  “Out of the thousand we picked about a hundred to go visit which we thought was the most needy.  Out of the hundred we picked 30 families.”

A grateful Air Force veteran is one of  the recipients. He’s had some major health issues including two strokes, yet didn’t have a bed. He was sleeping on the floor.  Choice Furniture, with help from the city of Rockford and Rockford Police delivered and set up a bed for him and replaced a lawn chair in his living room with a recliner.

Through this annual event, Sahouri has seen first hand how much need exists in the local area. And he issued a challenge to other locally owned businesses.  “If every business owner in the Rockford area does their part and do their part and give back a little bit, that would mean a lot to every needy family.”

And Sahouri adds that he hopes to help even more local families next year.