When a truck driver handed out plywood to Floridians scrambling to prepare for Hurricane Irma, all he thought about was helping those in need, but his employer sure didn't see it that way and promptly fired him for it.
"I knew going into it that there was a good chance I would lose my job, but the safety of families far outweighed the cost," Tim McCrory, a 27-year-old former truck driver with Western Express, told WTSP.
McCrory, who lives in Massachusetts, drove down with an emergency supply of plywood to be delivered from South Carolina to the Home Depot in Zephyrhills, Florida, on Sept. 7. The idea was to deliver the wood before the devastating storm hit, but he was delayed for several hours by a flat tire, reports WTVT.
Because of the hold up, he didn't arrive until the following night, and by then it was too late. Home Depot had already closed its doors until the hurricane passed, but there was a problem: people were showing up to the hardware store in droves. They desperately needed to board their windows and stock up on other supplies to ready themselves for the impending storm.
All McCrory knew was that he needed to sleep, and his manager said he couldn't complete the delivery until Sept. 12, so he settled down for a nap.
At 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 9, an off-duty police officer came by and woke him up. He said that he had been helping other people ready themselves for the storm and hadn't had a chance to pick up plywood for himself.
That's when it dawned on the driver that there were tons of people in need of the very thing he had sitting in the back of his truck, so he and the officer got in touch with other first responders and distributed it.
"Being an American citizen, that's what we do," McCrory told WTSP, saying that he was raised to help those in need.
Early that morning, they had given out 960 pieces of wood, which would go toward securing approximately 200 homes, according to WTVT.
"The situation was humans caring about humans," said Tracy Dillon Drew, one of the folks who was able to reinforce her house with the plywood off McCrory's truck, notes WTSP. "Americans caring about Americans."
She said that she befriended McCrory that day and has regularly been in touch with him since.
On Sept. 11, Western Express' management gave McCrory a call and let him know that he was out of a job.
"I understand his heart, but the plywood belonged to our customer," said CEO Paul Wieck, who did not verify the dismissal.
McCrory, who is back home, said that knows he did the right thing and would do it again.