The chairman of Company Wrench and owner of several other local businesses, Brad Hutchinson, spent around $8,600 to pay off 41 layaway accounts at the Lancaster Walmart as one of the ways to give back to his community, 10TV – WBNS reported.
“It’s Christmas time,” he said. “It’s all about the time of giving, and that’s what I try to do.”
“Everybody puts stuff on layaway, they pay the deposit in good faith thinking that they’re going to do this for their family for Christmas gifts,” Hutchinson continued. “I waited ’til the last day because I figured those were the people who, they’d done it in good faith but then realized that they just didn’t have the money, maybe the car broke down, whatever the case may be, but they didn’t have the money to get the stuff out of layaway.”
This was just the latest move in what has become a history of giving for Hutchinson.
A couple of years ago, he paid off school lunch debt of around $14,000 in total for all of the county districts—Lancaster City, Fairfield Union, Berne Union, Bloom-Carroll and Amanda-Clearcreek.
Last year, he paid off 1,100 past-due utility bills. This year, before deciding to pay off the Walmart layaway accounts, he wanted to return to helping the schools. With the help of three fellow businessmen, Lloyd Helber, Leonard Gorsuch and Monte Black, Hutchinson will help pay off countywide school lunch debt that had ballooned to nearly $40,000.
Hutchinson, 46, who went through “a poor and troubled upbringing” in Lancaster, Connecticut, has made a lot of money and became “a humble philanthropist of the very best kind.” He believes “if you have more than you need, you should share it. It’s the right thing to do,” according to The Columbus Dispatch.
“I grew up poor, you know, and, to me, you got kids that are on free lunch, they live in poverty, I get it, and then these folks that have the school lunch debt are the kids who probably have parents who are working but just, they fall short in some areas, and they need a little help bridging the gap,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson also spent about $200,000 to pay for bonuses for his roughly 200 employees spread throughout his companies this year.
Amanda Everett, executive director of the revitalization nonprofit, told The Columbus Dispatch the list of Hutchinson’s many acts of kindness goes on and on over the years: “The veterans who needed new beds, the children who needed new toys, the dogs who needed new homes, the elderly who just needed a meal.”
“People like Brad give me hope for humanity,” Everett said. “He isn’t going around town getting high fives. For every one thing he does that makes the newspaper, there are dozens and dozens more that no one ever knows about.”