Thanksgiving is around the corner, and many of us are inspired to show our thanks and gratitude in different ways. For Chris Fiegl and Matthew Radecki of Hometown Rent-to-Own in Salamanca, New York, they were inspired with the desire to pay-it-forward and give back to their community. Shortly after Fiegl and Radecki opened their business in 2014, a local customer’s home was destroyed by fire. The customer lost everything, and Fiegl and Radecki helped by replacing some items that were destroyed. That experience fueled the two to continue paying it forward.
The next year, they began their annual Thanksgiving Feast give away. Partnering with Sander’s Market, last year they gave away 150 Thanksgiving dinners with the trimmings. They expect to give at least 200 dinners at this year’s event.
“People are not required to be a customer of ours to participate,” Radecki said. “Everyone is welcome to attend!”
This year, they added on a drawing for $100 and $50 Visa gift cards. To publicize this annual event, a local radio station will be broadcasting from Hometown Rent-to-Own.
According to Radecki, a second store is in the works, and the tradition will continue at both locations.
“As we expand, we’re hoping the Thanksgiving event gets bigger and bigger every year – whether it’s two stores, three or four,” he added. “We want to give away 100 meals at every store location we open.”
Radecki is thankful to Randy Otander, a longtime RTO operator and APRO member, who not only helped the pair start their business, but also continues to be a mentor.
“He provides a wealth of knowledge about the rent-to-own industry,” Radecki shared. “It was Otander’s generosity and help that inspired us to not just be business owners in a community but to be part of the community.”