The owners of Junk King San Antonio, Mike and Carol Hasselbalch, were watching early morning TV in their home, when the local news came on. The news station was covering the recent flooding events on the border of Mexico in the towns of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, about 200 miles from San Antonio. The scene on the television screen was grim: the flooding caused by hurricane Alex was displacing families, destroying hospitals, spreading illness and making basic necessities hard to come by.
The TV station mentioned that the aid group People Helping People was organizing a drive to the border town to bring rations to those in need. Mike and Carol immediately knew that they needed to offer their services to the cause. They called up the TV station and asked how they could help, offering the aid of one of their Junk trucks to haul resources.
One of Junk King’s drivers, Alex Ortiz, donated his time to haul the rations down to Laredo. Within a week, Alex was on the road. His truck was filled with food and basic necessities like water, rice, beans, canned goods, bleach, toiler paper and diapers.
After he dropped those rations off, the Junk King San Antonio team decided one trip wasn’t enough. The towns along the Rio Grande were still facing incredible hardships because of the flooding and still lacked basic necessities. Apparently the conditions were so bad that people were killing each other for food. Mike Hasselbalch decided to make another trip himself, this time hauling the goods to the Salvation Army in Laredo, who then shipped the goods over the border to Nuevo Laredo.
Mike Hasselbalch described why he felt need to help out: “There’s a lot of hardship in Mexico – it’s hard for us to understand how bad it is. I went through two hurricanes. It would have been impossible for us without the help of people who literally drove their trailers hundreds of miles from places like Tennessee, Florida, and Baltimore. They just came out of the woodwork to help us. And here you have this situation in Mexico where the government isn’t even helping. These people just need the bare necessities and we wanted to help bring some of it to them.”
Junk King San Antonio, and all of the Junk King franchises around the country, have always made an effort to help out the communities around them. Sometimes, like in the case of the town of Laredo, a community in need is a bit ‘off the regular route.’ This distance didn’t deter Alex and Mike from making the trip. Like them, many of Junk King’s other hard working professionals are also glad to lend a helping hand.