But some guys don’t like ties, they’re not fond of socks and they already own lots and lots of tools. What do you get them?
Andy Thompson, owner of Cleveland Tire Center on North Lee Highway, knows the answer — a 53-foot trailer, the kind truck drivers haul behind their cabs from one corner of the U.S. to another and back again.
An avid supporter of Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland for years, Thompson recently presented the title and paperwork for a storage trailer to the local affiliate. On hand to gladly accept the unique Yuletide gift were Jim Tucker, a longtime Habitat volunteer, and Ken Bourassa, director of the Habitat ReStore located in the Habitat for Humanity complex on Grove Avenue.
The huge trailer wasn’t delivered with a big red bow but it did come with plenty of love.
“Habitat for Humanity is a great cause,” Thompson said. “There’s a lot of excellent organizations and causes out there, but in my heart Habitat is one of the best.”
Thompson, who has supported Habitat individually and through his company for years, said he has known Tucker for decades dating back to when he served as executive director of the old Boys Club of Cleveland, an organization that over the years has evolved and expanded into what is now known as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.
“We go to church together,” Thompson said. “Jim’s a fine man. I’ve known him since my son first started going to the Boys Club.”
Thompson has also known of the Habitat for Humanity mission for years. It is one he believes in strongly.
“I knew they were in dire straights for a trailer and this opportunity came along,” he said.
Cleveland Tire Center deals regularly with large companies who own plenty of large trailers, Thompson explained. Through one of his business partners, Thompson became aware of a trailer that was available. He bought it immediately for one reason — to donate to the Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland affiliate.
Like a 48-foot trailer that was donated earlier this year by Swing Transport Inc., the Cleveland Tire Center contribution will be used to store building materials at the Habitat for Humanity complex which is the site of the old Cinema Twin theaters.
An eventual Habitat affiliate goal is to construct a warehouse at the back of its property to store building materials. In the meantime, Habitat will use trailers and its own building to store materials not being used in immediate home building projects.
“Receiving this trailer from Cleveland Tire Center is a blessing,” Tucker said. “It could not be coming to us at a better time as we close down construction activities for the winter and get ready for a new start next spring. We get excited all over again when we start thinking about the number of houses we can build in the coming year.”
Tucker pointed out Habitat for Humanity succeeds in its mission because of volunteers and business partners whose sponsorships, time and material donations keep the organization supplied with workers and materials.
“Habitat for Humanity isn’t about a few people who are doing this or doing that,” Tucker noted. “It’s about this community, and the businesses, industries and individuals who come together to help others. That’s what Habitat for Humanity is all about — people who share the same vision of eliminating substandard housing one family at a time.”
In the past two weeks, the local Habitat affiliate held dedication ceremonies for its final two homes of the year — the Dockery Family dedication on Nov. 30 in Century Village and the Galay Family dedication on Dec. 7 on South Lee Highway.