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‘Be Love, Give Love, Receive Love’: Woman opens community pantry in Grandville home

Posted at 3:00 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 18:47:36-04

GRANDVILLE, Mich. -- On a sunny morning in early August, Kathy DeGraw is busy arranging items in her driveway on tables and racks. Everything is carefully sorted and organized and will soon be picked over by dozens of eager families in need.

"Kind of a free garage sale, free party. We do this every week in the basement of my home," explained Kathy DeGraw. "This is what we do, we like to give. It's fun. It's kind of like an adrenaline rush."

DeGraw advertised the massive giveaway on a Facebook page called "Be Love, Give Love, Receive Love." It's yet another outreach of a non-profit she created 18 months ago, called the "Be Love Community Pantry".

"We would just put the hours we were open and what we were in need of," DeGraw told FOX 17 News. "And the community just really came together and embraced the idea of not donating their items to be re-sold, but donating their items to give away for free."

DeGraw stores many donations of new and gently used items inside her basement during the week.

"It has taken over our house," she said. "Every corner, every space, under every bed, whatever we can find."

"The reason that we do it, is to be love. Everyone wants love. Right now we're reaching 1,400 people right here in West Michigan...our passion is really to help the people that fall through the systems cracks."

During this giveaway, struggling families were able to select shoes, school supplies and other items.

"This pantry changed my life, for the good. I love it," said Betina Vorhees, a volunteer who also shops at the Be Love Pantry. "Kathy is amazing... She's a very loving and giving person. All she wants to do is just give love, that's all."

DeGraw is always happy to offer a listening ear, prayer- and most of all love.

"It makes you feel great, just to know that you're changing someone's life," she said. "It really just shows you the more love you give. It just comes back on you."

DeGraw hopes to one day have a building, where the pantry can operate full-time. She said volunteers are always needed to help sort items and help out in the pantry during the week.

To learn more, to help or donate, click here.

As the Pay it Forward Person of the Month, DeGraw is receiving a prize of $300 dollars.

Know someone who should be featured next month? Nominate them here.

Meet Caleb and Jacob Graves, our July Pay it Forward Persons of the Month.