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Tom and Ruth Hodge own both Its Convenient stores located on U.S. 60, and for the past few decades, they have been known for their efforts in treating their customers like family.
The Hodges make it a point to help out people in need in the community, and their most recent effort was collecting thousands of dollars for Bill Pearson, an elderly man who lost his home on Henry Clay Street in a fire that killed his brother.
But they didn’t stop there. They got Shelby Christian Church involved, a move that raised even more money for Pearson, whom they had given a job at their store.
“I guess you could say we kind of adopted him,” Tom Hodge said with a chuckle.
He said he and Ruth collect most of the money they used to help people just through a jar they placed on the counter at their store on East Main Street.
“We like to help people on a one-on-one basis,” Hodge said. “Ruth’s dad had a history of doing that, and we have just tried to continue his tradition.
Ruth Hodge’s father, Harold Burge, had owned the store since 1967. The Hodges took it over 20 years ago and started the other store 7 years ago.
Ruth Hodge said she has followed her father’s example of community humanitarianism and has never regretted it.
“I just love helping people out, and we do it by spreading the word throughout the community,” she said. “When I hear about someone in need, I tell other people, so we can get help for them. Our customers want to help out, too. That’s just what we do.”