Goodyear fallout forces local Red Cross chapter to close doors

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Reporter - Todd Faulkner
Photojournalist - David Dycus

UNION CITY, Tenn. — More fallout as Goodyear shuts its doors: the local American Red Cross chapter in that region is now being forced to close up shop.

The Obion County chapter of the American Red Cross covers Obion, Lake and Weakley counties, serving roughly 70,000 people.

The chapter's CEO, Rob Adcock, said a district representative told him Goodyear's departure is a major factor in the decision. That's because the local chapter receives 90 percent of its funding from the United Way, which in turn, receives 90 percent of its funding from Goodyear.

Adcock said he's still in shock after being told his chapter needed to close.

"Yeah, I'm just really upset," Adcock said. "It's going to be something the community is going to have to find something to fill that void."

Adcock said he feels like his chapter was targeted. It's not profitable.

"We're being punished for being a responsible chapter but we're mostly being punished because we're not a multi-million dollar chapter," Adcock said.

He said the real ones losing out are the people who need help in an emergency.

"Time is very valuable in a disaster and that's time that'll be lost," Adcock said.

Mike Richards with the Christian Motorcycle Association showed up Friday hoping to figure out a way to fund raise for the Red Cross but Local 6 explained the recent decision.

"It's a sad situation," Richards said. "Well, I hate it for the people around Obion County and surrounding area because I know that they bound to help, especially in situations like the ice storm we had in '09."

And there will be more disasters in the future, ones now without a much needed helping hand.

"We're basically here for the community. Whatever they need and we can get, we're here for them," Adcock said.

He added that people above his pay grade told him this is part of a national trend the American Red Cross is moving toward to phase out and shut down the chapters that aren't as profitable.

The Obion County chapter could close as early as next week. When it does, the nearest chapters will be in Jackson and Dyersburg, Tennessee.

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