Family Experiencing Homelessness Gets Ultimate Gift In Time For The Holidays

A Dunkin’ employee received the surprise of a lifetime from one loyal customer: a fully furnished home.

Ebony Johnson met customer Suzanne Burke in a Dunkin’ drive-thru three years ago. The two became close, talking every time Burke got her morning coffee.

“I go every morning,” Burke said. “Ebony has worked the drive-thru for three years and has provided amazing customer service.”

Recently, though, Burke noticed her friend was not working her usual shift. She reached out to Johnson, learning the mother of three had fallen on hard times and had been evicted from her Mount Healthy, Ohio home.

With assistance from different organizations, Burke was able to find Johnson’s family a home — and furniture.

“I just wanted to see if I could help her just improve her life and the life for her kids,” Burke said. “I wanted to make sure that they had stable housing so that she could continue to provide the excellent service she does at Dunkin.'”

Dunkin Donuts sign on storefront
Adobe

Johnson saw her furnished home for the first time Dec. 3.

“Thank you all so much. Thank you so much for helping me,” Johnson said.

Burke partnered with staging designer Jo Potvin of Design to Market to ensure the house was perfect for Johnson’s family.

“[It’s the] perfect time of the year to feel like you’re spreading joy,” Potvin said.

They also received assistance from New Life Furniture Bank, an organization that accepts household items and makes them available at no charge to those in need.

“It’s as much a gift for us as it is for them to be able to provide this for them,” said Dana Saxton, executive director.

Johnson’s children were just as excited as their mother.

“So nice, so nice,” her youngest son said while looking at his new room.

Johnson said she and her kids could have a merry Christmas and enjoy the rest of the holidays with a fully furnished home.

“I’m just so thankful we’re back in our home,” Johnson said. “The Lord looked out for me because I kept praying and saying, ‘Could I be at home before Christmas?’”

By Kendria Lafleur, WCPO.