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Woman re-opens free clothing store following son’s accident

Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 27, 2015

FREEPORT. Mich., -- After months of being shut down, "Kim's Kubbyhole" is back open to those in need in West Michigan. Becky Callihan created the free store four years ago as a resource for foster families. Now, dozens of racks of clothes and accessories have taken over her garage in a true store-like setting.

"People like free," Callihan told FOX 17 News. "It's cool to see people come, and it's helping."

Callihan was forced to close the store this summer, after her son Eathan, 15, was paralyzed in a diving accident. She spent months by his side as he received treatment at Mary Free Bed in Grand Rapids and as the family completely remodeled their home to make it wheel chair accessible for the teen.

Many of the renovations were covered by the generous community of Freeport. A benefit held in the family's honor brought in more than $30,000 dollars last fall.

"It's very humbling to be on the other side," she said. "I'd rather be on the giving end...the giving end makes you feel a whole lot better."

With their home nearly complete and Eathan settled back in as a student at Thornapple Kellogg High School, Callihan made the decision to re-open Kim's Kubbyhole last month.

"Now I'm just trying to build it back up, because we lost a lot... when I shut down," explained Callihan.

Through word of mouth and social media, customers are beginning to return.

Kim's Kubbyhole serves victims of house fires, those down on their luck, or people who simply want to exchange their clothes to get something new.

Callihan estimates anywhere from 500-700 families are helped by the store each year.

"She does it out of the kindness of her heart," said Bambi Ricketts, a friend and volunteer at the store. "Becky is a giver...she puts a lot into it."

Kim's Kubbyhole (7540 Buehler Road, Freeport, MI) is open Tuesdays from 1-3pm and Thursdays from 4-6pm.

To learn more, click here.

As the March Pay it Forward Person of the Month, Callihan will receive a $500 dollar check, courtesy of Independent Bank.

Know someone who FOX 17 should feature as our next Pay it Forward Person of the Month? Nominate them here.

Meet Adele Garcia, our February Pay it Forward Person of the Month.