Rudy Rosales, 74, could’ve made some quick cash for his retirement by selling off the more 50 years worth of inventory he accumulated in his recently shuttered hardware store.
But Rosales -- whose store and amiable presence has been a staple in Cleveland for 54 years -- wasn’t interested in pocketing any extra money when he closed his shop for the last time, The Plain Dealer reported. Instead, he decided to donate everything in his 10,000-square-foot space to the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.
"Fifty-four years is long enough, and we decided to close it and give it away," Rosales told WKYC. "Habitat's been good … do a lot of good work in the neighborhood … just keep it up."
Over the past 25 years, the organization has built more than 180 homes in Cleveland, according to the nonprofit’s website. Rosales’ donation will go toward building five new homes in the Slavic Village area, where his store is located, according to WKYC. The extra merchandise will be sold at Habitat’s stores.
On Tuesday, more than two dozen employees from Great Clips volunteered to clear out the shop, boxing up everything -- including the store’s shelves, WEWS‑TV reported.
Rosales told WEWS‑TV that he’s "solved a lot of problems" since first buying his eponymous store when he was in his 20s and had just gotten out of the Army.
But the neighborhood mainstay still plans on putting his problem-solving skills to work. As he eases into retirement, Rosales told The Plain Dealer he plans on spending his time volunteering, either delivering meals to seniors or driving them to appointments.
"I can fix anything but a broken heart," he told the paper.