Three local businessmen want Bobby Brunner to get some sleep.

For almost four years, the York City man has dedicated his life to the nonprofit he founded after a fire displaced 61 families from their homes on Chestnut Street.

Brunner spends months collecting donations of every type -- clothing, food, toys, cleaning supplies, furniture, etc. -- and then hosts giveaways in different corners of the city, complete with medical screenings and musical entertainment.

He's had helpers before. Now, a new team is stepping in to assist Brunner with Neighbors Helping Neighbors.

Inspired by Brunner's altruism, the three businessmen said they'll lend their expertise to help the nonprofit grow.

Brunner
Brunner

"Bobby's been handling this on his own forever," said Mike Stantzos, co-owner of Crazy Tomato pizza shops. "You don't think the heart should fit in his chest, as big as it is."

Joining Stantzos on the Neighbors Helping Neighbors board of directors are David Potter, vice president of sales and co-owner of Martin's Potato Chips, and Craig Albright, president of Drive Right Autos.

Expansion: Brunner and the new board members said they are hoping to establish Neighbors Helping Neighbors chapters in Hanover and other cities, "to show other people how to do it," Brunner said.

They're looking at expanding into job training programs to combat the unemployment problem.

The organization will continue to be run by volunteers. The goal, Stantzos said, is to maximize the impact of donations.

"It's not just feeding someone," he said. "If you give a man a suit, then he can go apply for a job."

The businessmen are also hoping to give Brunner a bit of a break, Stantzos said.

"We figure sleeping is important," he said. "What he does is the work of 10 people already."

Thanksgiving donations: Next, Brunner is gearing up for his annual Thanksgiving donation drive.

For the third year, Brunner will spend a November week collecting donations from a tent he'll pitch outside at Re-Source York, 405 Carlisle Ave. in York.

Starting at 10 a.m. Monday, Brunner will be on site collecting donations -- "anything and everything" -- through Sunday, Nov. 25.

Each of the businessmen is offering incentives all week for folks to show up and donate. Martin's will give away chips. Drive Right and Crazy Tomato will have coupons to distribute.

A pre-Christmas giveaway is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8.

-- Erin James may also be reached at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.