ELKHART COUNTY – A serious blow for an Elkhart County man who helps build homes for Habitat for Humanity.
All of his hand tools were stolen at a job site, and he used his rent money to make up for the loss.
The community is reaching out in a unique way – to buy him new tools.
For several years, Duffy Sherman has been working with Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County to build new homes for those in need.
He works with volunteers and those who eventually become homeowners.
One day last month, he went to his truck and found someone had taken all of his personal tools.
“I felt pretty devastated that I could be singled out like that,” said Sherman. “Here I am doing something for the community, a non-profit at that, and then you know, I get hit like that personally. My morale was pretty low on it.”
“It’s his favorite hammer that he has had forever,” Tom McArthur of Habitat for Humanity said. “It’s his favorite. All those tools are just part of him.”
“That is my life,” Sherman added. “I have to have my apron. I have to have my hammer. Without them, I can’t build my house.”
But the situation is turning around.
An outpouring of support from local businesses and individuals is helping replace his tools. Also, a friend set up a web page for him on the fundraising site “gofundme.com” that allows people to donate to good causes.
Before getting into carpentry and work for Habitat, Sherman served in the Marine Corps, which stresses training to be mission-oriented, regardless of obstacles. It’s a training and mindset that carries to civilian life to help the less fortunate.
“In the military, we were taught to serve, and it’s the same principle out here,” Sherman described. “It’s not a big deal. Just keep moving forward, don’t let it affect your day, complete the mission, do what you gotta do to get the job done.”
So far, the online fundraiser has collected $530 to cover the stolen tools, some of which have already been replaced.