For the past couple of decades Jose Maldonado Sr. has been picking up appliances, pulling them out of basements, lugging them up and down stairs to earn some extra money but also to help those who are not able to move heavy units themselves. But in the past few years he and his family decided to take the side business in another direction.
He has now turned it into a nonprofit family business with a family goal to conserve and preserve natural resources by reducing, reusing, and recycling metals, to educate and engage the public in metal recycling, to promote and sustain a clean and blight free global environment, and to give and receive support with collaborating organizations toward job creation, economic stimulus, and climate change solutions.
The facility at 1016 S. Central Ave. has everything from wires, radiators and vehicles to tubs, washers and dryers. All sorts of items ready to be taken to be sold and the money donated to community endeavors, such as Boys and Girls Club of Allen Co. Inc., West Ohio Food Bank, Lima Men’s Rescue Mission and plans to add more as the business grows.
Maldonado grew up in Mexico and says he is grateful for what he has been given and wants to give back to those who are in need.
“We have been nonprofit and 501(C)(3) for the past three years and then the money we get from recycling the items that are brought to us we give to businesses that are helping others.”
1. How did you start?
I started getting appliances by going around with my truck and getting them from people who didn’t want the appliances any more. I liked it because I was making some extra money. People started knowing that I wanted to help older people taking appliances out of their basements … because people knew I did this and would call and ask me to give it, but I’m getting older and it’s a lot to do. I prefer to come here and take donations and work on taking things apart to take to recycling and then give that money away. We don’t take a paycheck, we donate everything. I am here during the weekdays. me and my wife, my son and my daughter are not on the payroll we donate everything.
2. How long have you been in the area?
I came to Ohio when I was 22 and I met my wife, Virginia. We got married a year later and have been married almost 42 years.
3. What brought you all the way here?
“My sister was here in Ohio, in Findlay, and about 20 some years ago we came here to Lima. I came with my wife, two sons Jose Jr. and Juan, and two daughters, Maria-Elena and Victoria.
3. Would you have dreamed as a kid that you would be here doing this?
[Laughing] No, not at all. I grew up in Mexico in a real little small community about 15 to 16 miles away from Monterrey. I was 12 years old when I got my first pair of shoes, but no one else had shoes so we didn’t know how poor we were. I don’t want my children or other people to suffer like that.
4. How did your life change?
When I came to America I came to work. My father and my older brothers taught me to work. I worked at a factory and made money, married my wife and had children. I’m grateful of everything I have here and I want to help others who need it, I don’t.
5. What could someone do to help?
Basically the best way is for donations of any metal recyclables that can be donated or sold such as appliances and vehicles. Material handling equipment would help, like a forklift to move material. Volunteers who can give time would be helpful, we have a forklift that is broken that we need help to repair also we need help with paperwork and grant writing. We are a local company that put our money back into the local groups that are helping children and people here in Lima. We can give a tax write off to donors who would like to make a donation because of our 501(C)(3) status.
6. What was your goal when you began?
My goal was to have this business making a good amount of money to help those in need and pass on to my kids so that they could have something to live on and give back to the community. I just want to help others.
Janet Ferguson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to The Lima News. Share your story ideas for Tell Me About It at firstname.lastname@example.org.