AKRON (Nov. 27, 2013) — As I sit in my office, frantically crossing things off my to-do list before the holiday and watching the snow pile up on my car, I remind myself that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is a day to be thankful for everything that I have been given. But why just tomorrow?
Sitting here, a quote from Arthur Bradley popped into my head. Mr. Bradley is the owner of Ace Parker Tire Inc. and the 2013 recipient of the Tire Business Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award. After hearing about his humanitarian efforts and getting the privilege of spending some time with him and his wife at the SEMA Show this year, I was able to learn a lot about being thankful for what you have and about giving back to the community.
While serving on a panel at the SEMA Show, he told the audience of tire dealers to give back to the community because he thinks "that will do your heart more good than anything."
That was his advice. Yes, he spoke about how he reaches younger generations by hosting car care clinics and advertising them at local colleges and universities and about some other tricks he has up his sleeve. But at the end of the day, when everyone is about to shuffle out of the meeting and into the next session, those are the words he wanted to leave with the group.
Even if no one else was listening — which I know they were by the round of applause his words garnered — I know I was.
Weeks later those words still resonate with me. I think that in a lot of ways, that kind of personality is what the holidays are really about. Giving back to the community that has helped you along or giving to people you may have never met but still need a little help.
After researching and writing in the tire industry for a little more than a year now, I am starting to get a grasp on what it means. There are a lot of hard-working people in the industry who run their businesses, work long hours, etc. But then I started to read about the other efforts, the socially responsible efforts. I started to appreciate how rewarding it can be to cover an industry whose that cares about their communities.
Throughout the month of October, I felt like I wrote at least 10 stories of companies that had efforts to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. From Omni United Pte. Ltd.'s rolling out its limited edition "Ring of Hope" pink sidewall Radar RPX 900 tire in support of the "Mobilizing Hope' campaign…to Tire Group International L.L.C.'s having its team members wearing a pink ribbon and a pink T-shirt every Friday during October…to RNR Custom Wheels & Tire Express' asking customers to donate a dollar to breast cancer research and placing a placard with the customer's name around the store, tire companies large and small are finding ways to give back and support their communities.
In business, recognition often goes to those with biggest sales or best practices, but these acts of giving back are also getting recognized.
Tire Business has been recognizing a Tire Dealer Humanitarian for 20 years now and others in the industry are recognizing these efforts as well.
For instance, Mighty Auto Parts gives out the "Mightiest of the Mighty" that this year included David Epperly of Epperly Tire & Auto Centers. Epperly Tire implemented its Changing Oil, Changing Lives program in 2010 that supports a different charity each month. The dealership donates a day's worth of oil change proceeds to a charity. Every third Wednesday of the month, a charity gets the proceeds; Mr. Epperly said the events generate about $1,500 on average.
All of these efforts are inspiring. I know that I can sometimes get wrapped up in the everyday chaos of life, but one of my focuses this holiday season is going to be to slow down and appreciate everything I have and to find a way to give back. Thank you for the inspiration tire industry, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!