One is Andy Thompson, owner of Cleveland Tire Center on North Lee Highway. You might have seen our story earlier this week on the front page.
The tire professional, who for years has been an avid supporter of Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland, stumbled upon an opportunity to make a unique donation to the local Habitat affiliate. Through a business contact he found a 53-foot trailer that was going unused. As luck would have it, Habitat needed a storage trailer for its growing collection of tools and building materials.
The local homebuilder has a distant strategy to build a warehouse at the back of its property behind the administrative offices and the Habitat ReStore; however, the people-friendly nonprofit must first raise the funding necessary for such a project.
In the meantime, its available storage is limited — especially in the winter off-season when the organization takes a break from building until the spring thaw.
Enter local businessman Thompson, who became aware of the need and who is always looking for a chance to help Habitat for Humanity. Thompson purchased the storage trailer and promptly handed over its paperwork and title to the local affiliate. On hand to accept the early Christmas gift were Jim Tucker, a longtime Habitat volunteer, and Ken Bourassa, director of the Habitat ReStore on Grove Avenue.
Thompson’s gracious donation honored several.
One, it was his way of supporting Habitat for Humanity and the invaluable community service this organization has provided in the Cleveland and Bradley County community for 20 years.
Two, it was his way of reaching out to the well-deserving families who are supported by Habitat; these are Cleveland and Bradley County residents who are willing to work hard to help themselves through countless hours of “sweat equity” in the construction of their Habitat homes and the homes of other Habitat recipients. Their efforts are in keeping with the Habitat doctrine of providing a “hand-up, not a handout.”
Third, it was his way of recognizing the leadership of Jim Tucker and his personal friendship with the man who served as executive director of the former Boys Club of Cleveland when Thompson’s own son first began attending the youth-friendly center.
“Jim’s a fine man,” Thompson told this newspaper on the day he presented the trailer title. “I’ve known him since my son first started going to the Boys Club. We go to church together.”
To a successful businessman and civic servant like Andy Thompson, who believes in his community, being able to help an organization that helps so many area residents means something. It is big. And so are the hearts of those who lead Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland and those whose invaluable work behind the scenes often goes unnoticed.
We believe Thompson said it wonderfully.
“Habitat for Humanity is a great cause,” he said. “There’s a lot of excellent organizations and causes out there, but in my heart Habitat is one of the best.”
We agree that the Cleveland and Bradley County community is blessed by so many fine nonprofits that are working together to make a difference for those most in need.
And, we agree that Habitat for Humanity is one of the best.
We also believe this.
Habitat for Humanity succeeds in its work because of faithful supporters like Andy Thompson.
We thank him for what he is doing for this community.
We thank him for being one of our best.