TEMPLE, TX — Shelby Michalewicz’s heart dropped in the isle of Lowe’s when she saw the price it would cost for a single piece of plywood.
“All I left with was a broken heart,” she admitted. “I couldn't afford to get anything that day.”
She’s the founder and president of Tiny Hooves Rescue and Petting Zoo in Temple.
Since the onset of the pandemic, she explained that her funds were low.
Then, when winter storm Uri hit and damaged some of the structures on her farm, they now need to be repaired.
However, the price of lumber and building supplies are keeping her from doing just that along with starting new projects.
“Wanting to be able to get these projects completed for the animals for them to live happy, healthy, thriving lives, it was devastating,” she explained. “It really led me to tears when I was leaving the store.”
The price for lumber right now is at an all-time high, skyrocketing to over 250% since the beginning of the pandemic.
“We got locked down, and then people were at home and couldn't go to work, so they all did the little projects,” said Alphonso Dominguez the owner of Texican Lumber Company in Belton. “That initially caused the lumber shortage.”
It’s not just lumber either, it’s most building supplies.
The prices don’t show signs of coming down anytime soon either.
“That's what the lumber prices can really tell us right now, by them going up, it's gonna affect everything,” he said.
Leading some folks to make heartbreaking decisions.
”I really don't think that God would ever put me in the situation where I had to close my doors, but if it comes to that, and I just genuinely can't afford it anymore, as much as it would truly break my heart. It may have to come to that,” Michalewicz said.
Tiny Hooves Rescue and Petting Zoo is a local nonprofit that runs on a volunteer basis.
Michalewicz and her crew hold fundraisers throughout the year to keep food on the table for the animals, but as the price for basic materials rises, it’ll be harder and harder to stay open.