(NEW YORK) — A Kentucky businessman showed a heart of gold by buying the entire inventory of a closing K-Mart and donating it to charity.
After turning aside calls from flea markets looking to buy the inventory valued at around $200,000, Rankin Paynter, the owner of a Winchester firm that buys up surplus goods, decided to donate the merchandise to a local charity.
“I told my wife, I can make $30,000 or $40,000 on this deal but let’s give it to charity,” Paynter told ABC News.
During a visit to the store, the good Samaritan was checking out the display cases and a safe for his jewelry buying business when he learned the store would sell all of the merchandise on the last day of business. One requirement: You had to be a power buyer.
Paynter had to fill out an application with the company to purchase the goods, which had everything from winter clothes to over-the-counter medicine. According to Paynter, the day before closing the store called to offer him the whole lot. But there was one rule.
“They said you can buy it all but you must sign a contract and take everything left in the store,” Paynter told ABC News.
And, he did. On Sunday, May 6, the businessmen stood in line for six and half hours to purchase the inventory that had to be rung up at four different registers the evening the store closed. It took the 77-year-old two trucks, two vans and six workers to move all the items from the store to storage. However, Payntner had no clue then what he planned on doing with all the inventory.
During a discussion with his banker, Paynter learned about a charity in the area that could use the goods he purchased. And, after viewing some of their financial records, the Winchester businessman decided to go with Clark County Community Services, which serves low- and middle-income residents in the area.
The inventory was an early Christmas gift for the organization, which plans on boxing up the winter goods to be distributed later on this year.
“This will be the first time we will have enough coats and gloves for everybody,” said Judy Crowe, the director of the non-profit organization. The organization’s Christmas program “Operation Happiness” is one of the largest in the area, serving 1,500 families in one day.
It’s a decision that makes Paynter proud.
“It makes me feel good [to give to charity],” he said. “I come from real poor background. I’m talking really poor. I was able to pull myself out and make a lot of money.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Heather Kelly, CNN
Robert Mclean, CNN
Paul Menser, Bizmojo Idaho