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13 OYS investigation prompts West MI company to step in, surprise West MI woman with new windows

Home Pro of West Michigan saw Maria Lawing's story and agreed to step in.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As part of a happy update to a 13 Help Team story that aired in early February, a West Michigan window installer, in partnership with 13 ON YOUR SIDE, surprised a Grand Rapids woman with a set of new windows. 

Maria Lawing didn't know where to turn.

Lawing told 13 OYS that she was out $1000 after buying windows from a once well-known West Michigan Company and never receiving them. 

Several companies stepped forward following the story’s publication in early February, including Home Pro of West Michigan, which, in coordination with 13 ON YOUR SIDE, agreed to provide Lawing’s two replacement windows at no cost.

Lawing had no idea.

“I'm glad I did call you,” she said, tearful as the surprise was announced. “13 ON YOUR SIDE has done something!”

Something Lawing had written off as a lost cause…

During her first meeting with the 13 Help Team, she couldn’t hide her frustration, holding up the contract Lawing signed several years earlier.

She contracted Jack’s Wholesale Windows to remove and replace the two dated windows in her living room with energy-efficient replacements.

Lawing’s $1000 deposit featured prominently in ink pen.

After advancing the installer her down payment, the Grand Rapids woman said a work crew never arrived.

In June of the following year, Lawing said she received a call from an individual who claimed to represent the company, which had locations in Schoolcraft and Indiana.

The caller told her Jack’s would be closing and that Lawing’s deposit would be refunded.

“The phone just rings and rings and rings and rings and nobody answers,” she noted during the original interview. “So I'm to the point where I have no windows and no down payment refunded back.”

13 ON YOUR SIDE circled back to Lawing’s home several weeks later for what was communicated to her as a routine follow-up.

She never guessed we’d been keeping a secret.

“You’re probably wondering who this is?”


“My name is Terry Sullivan. I’m here with Home Pro of West Michigan.”

The folks at Home Pro of West Michigan had seen Maria’s story and contacted the station to learn more, quietly working alongside the 13 Help Team behind the scenes since to coordinate the surprise reveal.

“What I can do is I can provide the labor, the material and the permitting to get the project completed at no cost to you,” Sullivan announced.

“Thank you, thank you,” Lawing gushed.

“It will be our pleasure,” Sullivan responded.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Oh, my goodness.”

Two brand-new replacement windows, installed free of charge.

“I saw you on TV and advertising… how you can help people,” she related.

“I was nervous to meet [Charlie],” Lawing laughed. “I was pretty nervous and then when you got here, you just made me feel comfortable. Very comfortable.”

Lawing finally saw an end to her long ordeal.

“I feel thankful and grateful. Very grateful,” she said. “Oh, my goodness, I didn't expect this. I didn't, I didn't.”

“We’re here to help out our community as well… We’ll get it all measured up, get it ordered,” Sullivan explained. “When the product comes in, we'll just come and put the windows in for you.”

The upgraded living room—with Lawing’s new view—was set to be complete in approximately two months time, Sullivan said, yet the windows weren’t the only project on the list, but also, the trust shattered by her years-long ordeal.

13 ON YOUR SIDE's Help Team photographer asked, “And your experience with Charlie?”

“I love him forever,” Lawing laughed.

Lawing didn't have any suspicions about 13 ON YOUR SIDE showing up with some ulterior motives.

“I just saw these guys coming out and I thought only you were coming over,” she laughed. “Thank you for coming out and listening to me and making all this possible.”

13 ON YOUR SIDE made several attempts to contact representatives for Jack’s Wholesale Windows, which appeared to have been shuttered by its owners, but had yet to receive a response at the time of publication.

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