Small Businesses

Wilson Lumber: Building Hope

There are some outreach opportunities that get a lot of recognition—Annie Sullivan teaching Hellen Keller to read and write, teachers who come into failing schools only to see a bunch of kids they worked tirelessly with get into college—and then there are those good deeds that go unnoticed unless someone like Mike Rowe stops by to film an episode of “Dirty Jobs.”

That is the case at Wilson Lumber. They’ve learned to use their skills in building and landscaping to help some Huntsville nonprofits.

Wilson Lumber’s mission team is a handful of employees who meet monthly and talk about ways Wilson Lumber can help the community. It’s a mix of workers from the different areas—truss plant, showroom, construction. The goal is to use their talents doing things most people can’t do—knowing where to put support beams or what greenery will survive all year—to helping area nonprofits.

Greg Shores, one of the managers at Wilson Lumber, is heading up the mission team as they partner with Lincoln Village for the third year. In addition to donating thousands of dollars in materials, the mission team went to the neighborhood behind the main school building and constructed a storage shed for one of Lincoln Village Academy’s teachers.

In some cases, the mission team has donated trusses for homes in the Lincoln Village neighborhood—literally keeping the roof over their head.

It’s humble work, but it ties into the foundation of the company. After all, the Bible speaks kindly about carpenters.

“We’re not looking for recognition,” Greg said. “We’re doing it because we’re trying to uplift the kingdom of God. That’s it. We don’t need any recognition here.”

The premise behind helping nonprofits impact our community goes back to the company’s mission statement: to build a successful company that upholds Christ-like principles and inspires people to grow.

These aren’t the pretty jobs. They’ve done everything from plumbing to mowing the lawn for groups around the city. The list of ways they’ve helped is pretty extensive—donating turkeys to Downtown Rescue Mission for Thanksgiving, building an entire home for Habitat for Humanity and a food drive for the Rose of Sharon soup kitchen to name a few.

Cory Buckner, Director of Volunteers and Church Partnerships at Downtown Rescue Mission, sees first-hand how the support from different companies adds to the impact of the mission.

“The support from Wilson Lumber and other community organizations is essential for our ministry to live out its mission statement,” Cory said. “Because of their continual generosity, men, women and children battling addiction, homelessness and poverty find Christ-like care and provision every day at no charge.”

Pay It Forward

There’s one other part to the mission team—and in involves helping the Wilson Lumber family. When an employee unexpectedly falls on hard times, the group kicks in to help them get back on their feet. Take the lumberyard worker who hadn’t seen his family in several years. They lived in another state and getting there was financially impossible. So, the Wilson Lumber mission team sent him for a visit. Another employee’s home was vandalized. The bills for repairs were piling up, and Wilson Lumber’s mission team got together to put new windows in her home.

Acts like these surely must play a huge part in maintaining loyalty within the Wilson Lumber family.

Although nothing is required in return for these gifts, it is strongly encouraged that the recipients return the favor by donating their time to help someone else down the road.

“What we’re trying to do, our intent, is to get our employees to give back to the community,” Greg said. “We try to involve them as much as possible…we want to get our employees to realize what we’re doing as a company here; we’re up building the kingdom of God. We’re not just to make money.”

One employee got financial help from the mission team, then turned around and volunteered at an orphanage. Greg said the employee came back from his experience a changed man.

“What he told me was that he didn’t realize how bad some of these kids had it,” Greg said. “When he went there to see, he thought he was going there to pass stuff out. He started talking to some of the kids and got a different realization of what some of these kids are going through.”

That’s what Wilson Lumber is all about. They help each other. They help the community.

And they do it all—dirty jobs included—without expecting anything in return.

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