Volunteers from Matlock Tire Service & Auto Repair in Lenoir City made a difference at Loudon County Habitat for Humanity.
Employees helped put a roof on a new shed for supplies Jan. 14 in addition to moving and cleaning items at the nonprofit’s warehouse.
“Matlock Tire has been, and Jimmy Matlock, have been supporters of ours for years,” Sandi Byrd, director of development, said. “They’ve been wonderful to us. They help with volunteers. They help when we’re raising money. … They knew that we’re building a new sort of a shed for building supplies and such here at our administrative offices and they said, ‘Let us come help.’ So they brought a big group over here to help.”
Byrd said the organization is completing the Hope Haven neighborhood and the storage shed there will be taken down and replaced with the new space as they build in other areas.
“There’s still a little more work to do, but the roof was an important part and that’s not an easy part to do,” Byrd said. “We were thrilled that they would come over and help with it.”
Byrd said the nonprofit has a fairly large warehouse at the administrative offices that can get cluttered by donations. Volunteers helped organize items to make it easier to get through to work.
“We’re a fairly small staff, and so volunteers mean everything to us,” Byrd said. “They save us so much time and money when they volunteer their time, and we’ve got so many good people in this area that have skills that can really contribute to what we’re doing. We would have to close the doors if not for those volunteers coming out.”
Joe Matlock, vice president of operations at Matlock Tire, was among the volunteers. He said the company tries to be involved in the community by supporting a variety of organizations, churches and schools. This time they wanted to be more hands-on and thought Habitat would present a great opportunity.
Matlock said the business has provided financial support in the past but wanted to have a team-building day for employees.
“It’s different when you actually just support organizations and when you get out and help with some of the grunt work,” Matlock said. “It really makes you feel more invested in it and just you can really physically and tangibly see the fruits of your labor. It’s just a great way to give back to a great organization.”
Charlie Barnard, who works in community relations for Matlock Tire, reached out to Habitat after Matlock asked about a community project. As a retired pastor from First Baptist Church in Tellico Village, Barnard was involved with Habitat houses built by church members.
“This project fit what they were wanting to do in the community, and they lined it up,” he said.
Barnard said the work was strictly volunteer, with 17 employees participating.
Matlock said at least one person from each of the five business locations took part. Some traveled from the store in Athens.
Volunteers could have been doing numerous other activities on their day off but wanted to serve, Matlock said. Several asked when the company was going to schedule another volunteer day.
“We try and have a service-minded team in our company and those people even outside of work really want to give back and support the communities and just really live out that spirit of service and they enjoy doing that,” Matlock said.
He applauded Habitat for serving those less fortunate in the community.
“I’ve always been very community-oriented myself,” Barnard said. “When I was in the ministry there at First Baptist Tellico Village, we did lots of community things. Giving back to the community is always a good thing. Habitat has helped so many families over the years, and it’s just a joy to be a part of that knowing that we helped Habitat through their ministry. I’d prefer to be the type of person that makes the world a little bit better place.”
For more information about Habitat, visit online at loudoncountyhabitat.org.