NORTH RIDGEVILLE -- Buddy Allen hopes he has an offer Northeast Ohio residents can't refuse: Donate non-perishable food, water and other supplies to aid tornado victims in the South and his trucking company will deliver it.
"Well, I look at those people," said Allen of the television news reports of the tornadoes aftermath. "They don't know where they're going to sleep. They don't know where they're going to eat. They're going to need all the help they can get."
Allen is president of New Era Trucking. The company has been based in North Ridgeville since 1980.
Allen said New Era runs about 15 semi trucks across the country.
"I think it's important that trucking companies and people who can afford to... we can send a good load of food down there," said Allen, "and I'm willing to put a truck and a (53-foot) trailer and a driver together and get it down there for 'em.
"I've never done this before," Allen said, "and I've always wanted to."
Allen will also cover the cost of the fuel, which he estimated would be around $800.
As for the donations to fill the trailer -- that's on the residents of Northeast Ohio.
Allen hopes that his offer will spur area businesses, churches and other organizations to hold collection drives for the tornado victims and combine the donations in one spot for his driver to pick up.
"Ninety percent of our work is north and south," Allen said. "People have been good to us down there and we've made a living hauling their stuff back up this way."
Businesses or organizations collecting donations for tornado victims can contact New Era Trucking at (440) 353-0223.