New Friends Donate 44 Handmade Trucks

By Trent Freeman, Treehouse Marketing and Communications

Jerry Tuck first started dabbling in woodworking when he was in high school, but he gave it up until he retired. One day, he decided to build a cabinet. An unsolicited DVD he received in the mail got him started.

“I now own 88 of those DVDs,” said Jerry, smiling.

Needless to say, he’s become quite proficient at woodworking as he’s watched all of those DVDs. He has made countless custom cabinets through the years, mostly for fun.

Recently, Jerry was in The Wearhouse, our free store for youth in foster care, with his new friend, Jack Butterfield. The two were donating a total of 44 handmade wooden trucks and train cars, including three complete train sets.

“It’s a ball,” Jerry said of woodworking. “It’s really something when you can make this kind of stuff out of 2x4s.”

The trucks are the culmination of four months of work.

“The thing that’s a real love hate relationship are those fenders,” Jerry said. “They’re little and they’re hard to cut out, and then you have to sand them down.”

Looking around The Wearhouse, Jerry explained that he was in foster care from age 9 to 15 in California. There wasn’t anything like Treehouse when he was growing up. He joined the Army “the minute I could,” when he was 17.

Now a retired accountant, Jerry lives at Gold Bar Nature Trails, a private camping club located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Gold Bar, Washington.

A chance meeting with Jack, a longtime Treehouse supporter, led Jerry to The Wearhouse. Jack and his wife, Paula, donate on a regular basis and are planning to move to Gold Bar. They were visiting the area and having dinner at a restaurant there just a few weeks ago when they met Jerry.

“Jerry said he had all of these cars, and he didn’t know what to do with them,” Jack said.

Always looking for ways to help the kids that Treehouse supports, Jack offered to buy 20 cars and donate them.

Jerry said: “OK, I’ll match it.”

The opportunity to help kids in foster care is important to Jerry because of his own experience in the system. He said he’ll be back next year with more trucks to donate, even if the fenders do try his patience.

“I buy the wheels. I cheat there,” he said, laughing.

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About the Author

Trent Freeman is the Associate Director of Marketing & Communications at Treehouse.

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