FREEHOLD, New Jersey (WABC) --It went from a fundraiser's find to a frustrating flop. The problems started after a New Jersey company promised to turn trash into cash, but after hauling away thousands of pounds of rummage sale items, the promised checks weren't sent out until 7 On Your Side made a call.
It was a win-win situation that may have saved Kerry Bretzius' life. Years ago, the husband and father desperately needed a way to lose weight. That's when Kerry and his wife saw the light: Running and raising money for Noah's Light Foundation. Kerry lost more than 100 pounds, and with each mile, the money he raised went to fight pediatric cancer.
"It just kind of hit home with me," he said. "Everyone's known someone who's been affected by cancer."
After running, they raised more donations, rummaging for used clothing and filling their garage with donated clothing. Next, they called a New Jersey company, Fashion Republic, Inc., that takes used clothes and sells it to people in need around the globe at low prices.
Fashion Republic picks up and pays, and in this case, they took more than 8,000 pounds of old clothes, promising to send their charity a check for more than $1,600.
"They said it would take three months, but when three months have passed and we hadn't heard anything," Bretzius said.
So they called us for help, and it turns out they weren't alone. Fashion Republic's Facebook page was packed with angry customers, including eighth graders at Immaculate Conception School in Somerville who had raised money for their graduation and were owed $1,950.
We asked the owner what the problem was getting the checks out, and he said that while they've been collecting clothes for 20 years, the amount they're getting paid for it has gone down significantly. And after our calls, both the kids and the couple fighting for a cure for cancer got their cash.