Competitors join for cause

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Al Key/DRC
Employees of Little Guys Movers take furniture out of the United Way of Denton County office on Dallas Drive to go to the nonprofit's new location on Teasley Lane, on Thursday in Denton.
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They’ve tried to outbid each other for jobs before, but this week two businesses did away with the bidding process and worked together for a good cause.

Little Guys Movers and Duryea Moving & Storage combined efforts to help the United Way of Denton County move into its new office space. On Thursday and Friday, the companies moved loads of files, paperwork and furniture from the old office space on Dallas Drive to a new space on Teasley Lane that is nearly 5,000 square feet.

United Way CEO Gary Henderson said the nonprofit organization had outgrown its space, with everyone stumbling over each other. United Way has only seven staff positions, but the internship program is growing and the organization now has 18 interns, he said. At the old office, three interns shared space with Henderson that he estimated was 10 feet by 12 feet.

“There was no sacred space ... and I’m not the only one we doubled or tripled up,” he said. “We knew they would be so much more productive if we provided the most basic resources.”

Now the interns will be housed in a large room that can hold about 50 people; at night the room can be converted to host community programs.

Ever since Little Guys Movers heard that United Way was looking to move its offices, the movers knew they wanted to help, said Bradley Steiger, a general manager with the company.

“When we look at an organization and we see someone who does such great things for the community, we try to help out in ways that we can,” he said. “In this instance, it fits perfectly. We feel that sometimes that can be better than writing a check — if we can help with the things we know how to do, sometimes we believe it can be better than money.”

On Thursday, the company had five employees and two trucks on hand to start the moving process.

The move was finished Friday by Duryea employees.

This is the first time Steiger could remember that the two companies had paired up for a project.

“It seemed like something that would be kind of unique. We both wanted to help out, and it seemed like this would be the best way to do it,” Steiger said.

While there has always been friendly competition between the two companies, both have always worked to help the community, said Jack Karnes, a manager with Duryea.

“Little Guys has been with Denton a long time and Duryea has also, and we know each other very well. They are good guys,” Karnes said. “Whenever we get a chance to do something like this, it’s kind of fun, to tell you the truth.”

Other local companies have come to help United Way transition to the new space, donating cubicles and even painting the walls, Henderson said.

“The whole community is chipping in. It’s nice. We feel loved,” he said. “We are so grateful that Little Guys and Duryea came together to make this donation possible for us. I think it’s just another example of the great businesses we have in Denton, and how they support the nonprofits in our community.”

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.


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