Sonnhalter just polished off its Seventh Annual Tool Drive and already couldn’t be more excited about next year’s chance to benefit the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.
Each August, members of the community drop off tools to any of the donation sites Sonnhalter organizes. This year they collected $20,000 worth of donations, primarily hand and power tools, including pliers from KNIPEX Tools, axes and sledge hammers from Council Tool Company and a few table saws from members of the Cleveland community. They also received donations from Gerber Plumbing Fixtures. This brings the total collected over the past seven years to nearly $200,000.
“These are things that are really needed by Habitat for Humanity. They accept a lot. And whatever they will not be able to accept to aid them in building houses, they will sell at their at their ReStores,” said Rachel.
Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.
A lot of the items that go to the ReStores, two of which are located in Cleveland, are passed around before they get to the customer.
Oftentimes crews of special needs persons clean and handle the items before they can be displayed. Retired laborers will also refurbish or rework some of the pieces. This drive is proof that the chronology of one specific donation passed from one person to the next is what makes this kind of success a community-wide one.
Sonnhalter is a “Business-To-Tradesman” company that aims to meet the marketing needs of professional tradesmen in the construction, industrial and MRO markets. They’ve been doing this work for 40 years.
In 2010, Sonnhalter was looking to give back to the community in ways that would better connect them with their clients — professional tradesmen.
“Our first thought was ‘let’s get our team together and build a house,’” Rachel said. “At that point in time Habitat for Humanity had a waiting list; what they really needed was for people to help support them through tool drives. Our second thought was ‘we could do that; no problem.’ Seven tool drives later, this is something we look forward to and want to continue.”
As each tool drive approaches, repeated donors tend look out for reminders or reach out to organizers as early as May. One of the most popular donation sites is at the local library.
“When there’s an annual event happening in the community you live in, you start to pay attention and notice the pattern. Our community members have being doing this. Our clients oftentimes will use this opportunity to donate discontinued products (with misprinted labels, for example),” Rachel said. “In any case, mostly everyone who donates will donate again and again. There have been some who have accidentally skipped a year and then donated twice the following year. We have clients we no longer work with who continue to support our tool drive.”
The Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity is on track to build 33 houses by the end of 2016. Their goal this year was 30 houses.
For 2017, Sonnhalter seeks new ways to continue to make its tool drive better and more efficient.