Nonprofit organizations in Sedona can take advantage of an offer from Lon Walters at Coldwell Banker in West Sedona. He has a 16-foot moving truck he loans out to the nonprofits for only the cost of whatever gas they use.
“This community has been awfully good to us. This is a way to continue giving back,” Walters said.
Walters, through his business, bought the truck in 2005 with the intent to offer its use to the 501(c)(3) organizations in Sedona. Many have used it over the years such as the Sedona International Film Festival, the Humane Society of Sedona Paw Prints Thrift Shop, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce and the Boys & Girls Clubs for the Taste of Sedona. Soon the Marine Corps League will use the truck to pick up the Toys for Tots boxes so they can distribute them to children in the area in time for Christmas.
“The thrift shops connected to a nonprofit will call us when they have a big haul to do that won’t fit in somebody’s pickup,” Walters said.
B. Skielvig, executive director of the Humane Society of Sedona said the truck has come in very handy on several occasions especially when they received several items, including furniture, from an estate sale for the thrift store in the Village of Oak Creek.
“The truck was perfect because all we had was a pickup. We could make it in one trip instead of several,” Skielvig said.
According to Walters’ estimate, the Sedona area has approximately 100 nonprofit organizations that serve the community in some faction.
“They’re really struggling and this is one small way I can help,” he said, also stating that he does not intend to compete with U-Haul. “Knock on wood, the truck always runs.”
The Sedona International Film Festival, coming up in February, counts on the truck for the event to run smoothly.
“It’s a great service; otherwise we’d have to rent a truck to haul stuff,” festival executive director Pat Schweiss said.
Festival crew members pick the truck up three or four days before the festival and keep it until a day or two after.
“We keep it for about nine days and move tons of items in it. In this day and age and economy, every little bit helps us nonprofits,” Schweiss said.
While many nonprofits do use the truck, it tends to spend most of the time in the parking lot, and Walters would like to see that situation rectified.
“I’d sure like to see it used more,” he said.
Walters has an override on the insurance, but the organization using the truck covers the driver. All he asks is that the truck come back with a full tank and as clean as when it was picked up.
“If we find out there isn’t a need here, there are other places the truck could go, but I really want to keep it in the community,” he said.