ELKHART— When Leon “Duffy” Sherman found his tools stolen from his Habitat for Humanity truck early in January, he knew his financial situation had taken a hit.
Sherman, who works for Habitat of Elkhart County, makes his living with his tools, supporting himself and his girlfriend and five children, one of whom is in college.
On Jan. 8, Sherman looked in his Habitat truck parked at his house and saw that his personal tools were gone. Mostly hand tools were taken from tool boxes in the bed of the vehicle, including hammers and wrenches and his screw gun, among various other items.
He filed a report with the police but none of the tools have turned up. The equipment was also uninsured, forcing Sherman to take from his rent money to help replace the basics he needs to do his job.
“It hurt,” he said. “Right now, I’ve only replaced about half of them.”
Sherman has also been aided by the efforts of Lawrie Covey, the mother of his girlfriend and grandmother of the youngest child.
Covey set up an account on gofundme.com to help pay for some replacement tools for Sherman.
So far, Covey’s gesture has brought in $305 that has gone to help Sherman pay for rent and other necessities since he had to use some of his rent money for tools. The goal on the site is to raise $1,500.
She noted that the fund has received donations from as far as New York and New Jersey, with one donor pitching in $100 in memory of the victims of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting.
Covey said she’s shared the site on social media, hoping to at least get word out and then let those that see the donation site decide whether or not to contribute.
“I’m trying to do what I can to help them,” she explained. “It’s just a matter of, how do I reach as many people as I can?”
So far, Sherman says he’s been able to replace about the half of what was taken from his truck. Covey hopes the donation site will help to cover the rest.
Covey’s site can be found by visiting gofundme.com/1t82rk.