With humanitarian aid continuing to flow into areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, tire dealerships, like other small businesses, have mounted grassroots efforts to help victims.
One such dealership was Tucker Tire Co. in Covina, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in the same location next year. A long-time Cooper dealer, Tucker obtained the aid of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. to send two trailer-truckloads of clothes and supplies to Houston and Mississippi.
Brothers Tom and Jim Tucker, co-owners of Tucker Tire, told Tire Business they got the idea for a clothing drive from their mother, Rosemary Tucker, who operates a thrift shop in San Diego. Rosemary sold Tom and Jim the tire business in 1988.
``Mom had clothes for the relief effort that she was having trouble shipping, and she asked, `Why not try your vendors and see if they have any trucks they could lend us?' '' Jim Tucker said. The brothers contacted Bob Murphy, western regional manager for Cooper. Mr. Murphy in turn contacted the tire maker's corporate office in Findlay, Ohio, which gave the go-ahead to contribute a tractor-trailer for the Tuckers' clothing drive.
Tom and Jim also contacted their local newspaper, which ran an article about the brothers' plan. They ended up receiving some 200 calls a day from local residents who wanted to contribute-so many that they had to ask Mr. Murphy for another truck.
Football and wrestling teams from San Dimas and Northview, Calif., high schools helped load the trucks on Sept. 6 and 7.
``We received a lot of fantastic help from our area,'' Jim Tucker said. ``Tom and I contacted the Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries to find out where our trucks were needed the most. The Salvation Army told us that 700 people a day were showing up, and they had run out of clothes the day before. So it's good to know we could help out.''
(See photo on page 1.)