- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) - A hardware store owner who is retiring and closing his doors after 54 years has decided to donate his entire stock to Habitat for Humanity.

Rudy Rosales is shuttering Rudy’s Hardware in the city’s Slavic Village neighborhood this week. But instead of liquidating his 10,000-sqaure-foot store’s stock, he’s donating every last nut and bolt to the charity that builds homes for deserving people.

The 74-year-old Rosales tells the Northeast Ohio Media Group (http://bit.ly/1i3aPYA ) that he’s glad the store’s stock will do some good in the city.

“I didn’t want to just auction it off,” Rosales said as volunteers loaded cardboard boxes of hardware onto a truck Tuesday. “When we closed, it was a fully operational hardware store. With everything from plumbing supplies to electrical - we had it all. But I’m glad to see it go and to know that it will remain a part of the community.”


The charity said some of the hardware will be used to rehab houses in the neighborhood, while other items will serve to restock Habitat’s construction warehouse for projects all over the city. The rest will be sold at the charity’s store, with proceeds going to build other houses.

Dozens of volunteers will spend the next week emptying Rosales‘ store. Even the shelving will find a new home when Habitat opens another store on the east side of the city in the coming year.

Rosales bought the store when he was in his early 20s, a few months discharged from the Army and looking to ditch a desk job selling kitchen cabinets. He mentioned to a buddy that he was interested in opening a hardware store. His friend immediately suggested Rosales contact his uncle, who owned such a business at the corner of East 71st and Harvard Avenue.

Rosales said he had little to his name at the time and had to mortgage his family’s suburban house to buy the store.

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Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com