Dave Hausbeck, owner of DHT Group.

Reese trucking business delivers goodwill, gratitude

Dave Hausbeck, owner of DHT Group.
Dave Hausbeck, a 1980 Reese High School graduate and owner of DHT Group in Saginaw County’s Blumfield Township, supports the “Project Make a Difference” effort that began this fall. Hausbeck’s employees founded the campaign, which collects new or clean “gently used” coats, hats, gloves, mittens, boots and blankets from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Donors may bring the items to DHT trucks in front of The Advertiser, 344 N. State St. in Caro, or at Keyser Chevrolet Buick Inc. at M-15 and M-81 in Reese. Items also may be dropped off during those hours at Draper Chevrolet, 4200 Bay Rd. near Saginaw. Hausbeck is shown in February prior to traveling to Alaska to compete in the Iron Dog Snowmobile Race. (File photo).

DHT Group, a trucking business near Reese, has grown steadily through the years, and its employees hope to deliver their gratitude — along with winter clothes and gifts — when “Project Make a Difference” resumes Saturday.
From noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, DHT transport trucks will park in front of The Advertiser in Caro, at Keyser Chevrolet Buick Inc. near Reese and at Draper Chevrolet near Saginaw, accepting donations of new and clean “gently used” coats, hats, gloves, mittens, boots and blankets for needy households.
DHT will deliver donations to the Human Development Commission in Caro, The Salvation Army locations around Saginaw, Old Town Christian Outreach in Saginaw and City Rescue Mission in Saginaw. “We here are very fortunate,” said Celeste Culver, 54, who started the goodwill project and heads the landscaping and excavating division for DHT Group, a business with about 300 employees in several Michigan locations.
“We have jobs, we have insurance, and a lot of people don’t have what we have,” Culver said. “We were kind of kicking around the idea, and said ‘You know what, I think we can help – at least we’ll give it a shot.’”
DHT Group, along M-15 south of M-81 in Saginaw County’s Blumfield Township, was founded by owner Dave Hausbeck, who started in the trucking business in 1982 with one used semitrailer.
“Dave is a great supporter of the community, and I came to him with this idea, and I said ‘Will you let me use the (trucks)?’ and he said ‘Go for it,’” Culver said. “He encourages us to step out and help the community. I’ve got (DHT) drivers who are volunteering their Saturdays to come do this.”
“Project Make a Difference” began Oct. 1 when DHT trucks assembled at the previously mentioned locations to collect soap, shampoo, toilet paper, trash bags, packages of undergarments and cleaning supplies – among other items – for delivery to the same organizations that assist the needy.
On Dec. 3, DHT trucks will park at The Advertiser, Keyser Chevrolet Buick Inc. and Draper Chevrolet to collect unwrapped gift items for men, women and children.
“I was a single mom and I had three young children,” Culver said. “I remember, it was tough. I was glad to get some hand-me-downs or this or that. I always worked and went to school, but raising three kids alone – a set of twins and one who was a year and a half older – was tough.”
Culver sympathizes with Michigan residents who are homeless or who are living in poverty – whether unemployed or with jobs.
“At first it was really tough to get anybody to understand this (project),” Culver said. “They were asking ‘Why are you doing this?’ I said ‘Because we can.’”
Eventually, though, area businesses showed support.
Champagne & Marx Excavating Inc. of Saginaw “did a collection in their office for us, and Draper Chevrolet workers are doing the same thing,” Culver said.
Culver said DHT Group employee Joyce Dost, who is in charge of the corporation’s fleet of 53-foot-long “van” transport trucks, has aided the effort.
“She is backing this project 110 percent, too,” Culver said. “She helps me do the advertising, she helps with the collection and helps organize the drivers. She’s been awesome.”
Steve Wren from DHT Group’s propane dispatch department also has worked to make the project a reality, Culver said.
Culver said some of the unwrapped gifts donated on Dec. 3 will be delivered to the Human Development Commission and to the other collection sites, but also to retirement homes and group homes “where a lot of times people just get placed, and kind of forgotten.”
Culver praises the “Toys for Tots” campaign to provide holiday gifts for children, but said “sometimes even being an adult it would be nice to have a little gift, too.”
Culver figures the first drop-off date – of personal hygiene and household items – on Oct. 1 was a modest beginning for “Project Make a Difference.”
“Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed but we raised over $2,200 worth of stuff” at the three drop-off sites, Culver said.
“I guess, for the first time, that’s not bad,” Culver said.
Using items gathered from the project, Old Town Christian Outreach Center, 600 Gratiot Ave. in Saginaw, will provide free household items along with unwrapped gifts on Dec. 10 for needy residents – including children – wanting to be able to give a gift to a caretaker such as a grandparent.
Tom Gilchrist is a reporter for The Advertiser and can be reached at gilchrist@tcadvertiser.com

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