Patio & Hearth Blog

from Patio and Hearth Products Report

Summer Classics Lends a Helping Hand

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An American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle delivers meals in Concord, AL. Photo by Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross

When Harold Hudson heard on the radio that the American Red Cross was in need of charcoal, fire starters and portable charcoal grills after the tornadoes ripped through Alabama, he knew that he could provide help.

Hudson is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Summer Classics, a manufacturer and retailer of outdoor furniture, based in Alabama. Even though Summer Classics doesn’t sell grills, Hudson used his connections within the industry and with the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (Hudson serves on HPBA’s Board of Directors) to help organize a collection for the Red Cross in Alabama.

He sent out emails to the HPBA and other trade magazines, and within 2 hours he was getting responses from throughout the industry asking how one could help and make donations.

What has been collected so far?
3,879 bags of charcoal
5, 436 boxes of fire starters
129 grills
12 griddles
Various barbecue accessories

As all of us know, this destructive weather is far from over. It has been less than two weeks since Joplin, Missouri was hit by one of the deadliest tornadoes this nation has ever seen. Hudson says that the Alabama Red Cross is still in desperate need of portable charcoal grills.

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find ways to help within your community. A simple email or phone call can lead towards helping with relief and eventual recovery for those towns that have been torn apart.

If you are interested in donating grills or charcoal, you can contact Harold Hudson at

If you are interested in helping those in Joplin, Missouri, visit United for Joplin

American Red Cross Donations: here

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