A Massachusetts truck driver was fired from his job after he gave away plywood to needy Floridians in Tampa girding for Hurricane Irma, it was reported on Thursday.
Tim McCrory, 27, was driving his truck to a Home Depot just outside of Tampa last Friday night to deliver emergency shipments of plywood just hours before Irma made landfall in south Florida.
McCrory’s truck suffered a flat tire, resulting in him being late to the department store which had closed by the time he arrived at approximately 9pm.
Because of the approaching storm, the Home Depot had already closed, according to Fox 13 TV.
His manager back in Tennessee told him that he would have to wait until Tuesday to complete his delivery.
So McCrory says he decided to wait out the storm in his truck.
A few hours later at approximately 2:30am on Saturday, McCrory says an off-duty police officer approached his truck in search of plywood.
The officer told McCrory that he had been busy helping others prepare for the storm and that as a result he did not have time to secure his own home.
When McCrory was made aware of the urgent need for plywood, he decided to hand out pieces to the officer and others who heard through word-of-mouth.
By 6:30am on Saturday, McCrory offloaded and donated 960 pieces of plywood, helping up to 200 households, he said.
‘Being an American citizen, that’s what we do,’ McCrory told WTSP-TV.
But his employer did not see it that way.
Western Express, the Nashville-based company, decided to fire McCrory, who admitted after giving away the plywood that he had a feeling he was in trouble with his boss.
The company CEO, Paul Wieck, said that while he understood why McCrory did what he did, he needed to look out for the bottom line.
‘I understand his heart,’ Wieck said, ‘but the plywood belonged to our customer.’
Wieck did not confirm that McCrory had been fired. The company has since declined comment to numerous media inquiries.
One of the locals helped by McCrory’s generosity decided to return the favour when she heard that the man who most likely was responsible for protecting her home was fired from his job because of it.
Tracy Dillon Drew, a resident of Zephyrhills, Florida, launched a GoFundMe page to help McCrory, who returned home to western Massachusetts.
‘Even though we were all strangers, I cannot explain the sense of community I felt with those of us who were there lucky enough to not just receive plywood, but also receive a much more important gift – compassion from a man who will risk getting caught in the storm driving back to his home to bring us wood, who also risked his job to make sure regardless of Home Depot’s refusal to accept his order that Zephyrhills would have some plywood,’ Drew wrote on the GoFundMe page.
As of Thursday evening, the crowdfunding campaign had raised $1,665 of its goal of $2,000 to help McCrory get back on his feet again.