DEL Lift Rentals Donates $1,400 to Sojourner House

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Cari Johnston, director of marketing for DEL Lift Rentals and Sales, describes Youngstown’s business community to be “very close-knit” when it comes to charity.

For Carl Stitzel, owner of DEL, Boardman, and Direct Forklift, New Middletown, his company’s $1,400 donation to Sojourner House was as close as family. Starting in 2018, Stitzel has held month-long campaigns to raise funds for a particular nonprofit organization in the community, Johnston said. This year, Stitzel chose Sojourner House because his wife’s sister collects items throughout the year to donate to domestic violence shelters.

“It was getting down to the wire at the last minute,” Stitzel said. “I told my wife I have to let people know what we’re doing this year and right off the bat she goes, ‘How about Sojourner?’ and then she told me that her family works with shelters such as Sojourner and I didn’t even realize that.”

In February 2019, Stitzler donated a 4,000-pound-capacity fork truck to the Warren Family Mission through the first December campaign.

“Our local businesses are very charitable people,” Johnston said during the check presentation Thursday afternoon. “They like to get together and be able to do things for our community. It’s what keeps the community going.”

Donations allow Sojourner House, a Compass Family and Community Services program, to serve men, women and their children who are victims of domestic violence by bringing them into the shelter, said its program manager, Malinda Gavins. Currently, there are 17 people residing at Sojourner House.

“They come from a diverse background,” Gavins said. “Some single, some with family, their children and that’s one of the good things we are able to do. We are able to bring a mother in with all her children or a father with all of his children.”

In addition to the money, DEL joined Crouse Mills True Value in North Lima, Boardman Lanes and Venture Church in Boardman and Freedom Church in New Middletown in filling donation boxes with home and cleaning supplies, art supplies, toys clothing and diapers for domestic violence survivors and their children at Sojourner House.

Families at Sojourner House appreciate everything and “they’re overjoyed” because they know they are not necessarily able to give and get these things on their own, said Joseph Caruso, president and CEO of Compass.

“Their finances are all tied up, and so being able to have these things and experience them with their children is unbelievable,” he said.

A portion of DEL’s revenue from rentals in December was put toward the donation of $1,400, Johnston said. In addition, more than $200 in cash donations were made from people, mostly within DEL, she said.

“When [Stitzel’s sister-in-law] suggested it, we looked into it and went on the [Sojourner House] website, talked to them a little bit and it just seemed like a very good fit,” Johnston said. “They say they support up to 10 families at a time and that’s a lot of people to try and have everything for.”

Apart from the December campaign, DEL donates equipment to area food pantries throughout the year and Stitzel makes personal time to work with them every month, he said.

“That’s why I have a bad back from carrying canned goods,” Stitzel said with a laugh. “But it’s why I do what I do.”

Stitzel will continue to have the campaign every December for as long as he is able to, Johnston said. Being involved with the campaign has motivated her to be more involved with giving back on her own time, she said.

“This was an eye-opener to me,” she said. “Local is everything.”

Pictured: On-hand for the check presentation were Joseph Caruso, president and CEO, Compass Family and Community Services; Cari Johnston, director of marketing, DEL Lift Rentals and Sales; Carl Stitzel, owner, DEL; Audrey Walker, volunteer coordinator and house manager, Sojourner House; Malinda Gavins, program manager, Sojourner House; Milagros Figueroa, domestic violence specialist, Sojourner House; and Don Joseph, operations manager, DEL.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.