Man gifted money for truck after friend's crowdfunding effort

It's the season of giving, and one Bay View small business owner said he is blown away by how many people stepped up to help him help a friend.

Caleb Nickel owns Ormson Supply, a vintage furniture and clothing shop. The aisles are full of treasures.

"Started out selling t-shirts on eBay," Nickel said. "95 % of our inventory is like 60s, 70s, 80s."

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Nickel credits many of his finds to his weekly trips to the Waukesha ReStore. It's a place where he always runs into one of his favorite workers, Ronnie. 

"He’s just a super nice guy. Every time I see him, he’s smiling. We always sit and chat for a couple of minutes," said Nickel.

Caleb Nickel and Ronnie

It was during one of those chats that Nickel found out Ronnie had fallen on hard times.

"He was just telling me about how his truck got stripped one day when he was doing a side job," Nickel said.

When the truck got fixed, it broke down again. Ronnie had been taking an Uber to and from work and, just the other day, walked from the south side of Milwaukee to the Waukesha ReStore.

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"When I heard that I was like, ‘I gotta try to help this guy out,’" said Nickel.

Nickel posted about it on Instagram and started raising money through Venmo. In just three days, hundreds of people helped raise more than $29,000. 

"Within 30 seconds, I was getting donations," Nickel said. "I’m blown away with how many people have shared the post."

Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Waukesha

Thursday, Dec. 1, Nickel surprised Ronnie with the big donation: money for a truck. It was an emotional moment for the two men whose friendship, like the furniture in the store, can stand the test of time.

"Thank you, all you all, who helped me get a vehicle," said Ronnie.

Nickel said he's so inspired by everyone's generosity that he's thinking of doing something like it again, possibly raising money for a charity.