At Lee Company, being of service and creating an environment where people can thrive is at the heart of what we do and who we are. We are honored to put our resources to work for our community.
Typically, the resources needed are time, talent, or financial support. But Build & Learn, Inc., in Columbia, Tenn., is far from typical – and the resource this outstanding organization needed was a truck.
As a non-profit Community Housing Development Organization, Build & Learn repairs homes for veterans and disadvantaged citizens, often building wheelchair ramps, fixing leaks, or handling other refurbishing projects. Build & Learn also provides job training for people who have difficulty finding work because they don’t have a high school degree or have spent time in prison.
“What we’re doing is needed in this community, and no one else is doing it,” said Quinton Jones, founder and executive director of Build & Learn. “We’re reaching all segments of society, including people who otherwise don’t have options and a way to improve themselves. We give people a chance who normally wouldn’t get one.
“We build and learn as we go,” said Jones. “One of the things I’m learning is that if you give people a chance, they can do a lot more than you – or they – ever thought they could.”
Richard Perko, president and CEO of Lee Company, met Jones a couple of years ago. Both men quickly realized that while the companies they lead differ in size and scope, their organizations share a dedication to helping people in need, at work and at home.
“Through Build & Learn, Quinton is integrating two missions that we share a passion for at Lee Company: teaching the skilled trades and serving those in our community that need assistance, including many of our veterans,” said Perko. “Quinton is a vet himself, and I want to thank him for following the call to serve our country in the past, and now our community. I also want to thank our many sponsors for helping us provide Build & Learn with the equipment and tools included with this truck. Together we can all make a difference in our communities.”
Jones says his team did have the use of a truck for a while, but the volunteer who owned it was diagnosed with cancer and had to stop assisting Build & Learn. Since then, it’s been a time-consuming battle to get supplies and materials to job sites as needed – and to pick up large donations, such as furniture and refrigerators, when offered.
“I’ve been pulling a trailer with my old SUV, but it’s not running now and it’s not a pickup truck, so we’ve been limited,” said Jones. “This truck will take a lot of pressure off. It’s a real game-changer for us. I want to thank Richard and everyone at Lee Company for the truck and for even considering helping us out. The more help we get, the more good we can do. This was the biggest day in Build & Learn’s history.”
The Lee Company Team – www.leecompany.com