We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. - W. Churchill
National Kidney Foundation
Operation BBQ Relief
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk.
Our “Uniteders” started its’ involvement with the NKF West Tennessee back in early 2000’s. The relationship started as a business relationship wherein Memphis Auto Auction sold charitable donated cars for the NKF thru the lanes. As the Team at the NKF and Memphis Auto Auction started to build a relationship, United wanted to get more involved in the charitable events and help raise monies and awareness to the NKF.
The National Kidney Foundation hits home a bit deeper for Kevin Wilson and Family as Kevin had kidney issues in his childhood. Throughout a three to four year period between the ages of 8 to 11, Kevin had multiple surgeries to repair one of his kidneys without success. At the age of 11, Kevin had his right kidney removed, and is living proof that people can live a regular life with one kidney.
The Team at NKF led by Mable Barringer has always been a pleasure to work with thru the years, and the “Uniteders” support the NKF in a variety of ways including the Annual NKF Walk at Rhodes College, Wine Tasting Event, Galas, etc. It has been a leading contributor to the NKF Walk 3 of the past 4 years. Raising funds thru fun events at United creates the culture we want as a Team all directed towards a good cause; some of the events include pajama day, kidney bean jar contests, 70’s themed day, cookouts to raise funds, and more.
For more information about the NKF serving West Tennessee, please click here.
Our competition BBQ Team, Auto Be Grillin, typically comes together once a year to compete in the Memphis in May World Championship BBQ Cooking Contest (MIM). However, over the past few years the team has also rolled out the smokers to assist Operation BBQ Relief (OBR) in the feeding of hundreds of tornado victims in Moore (OK), Tupelo (MS), and Tuscaloosa (AL).
With a branch office located in Tupelo, the victims of the April 28, 2014 tornado outbreak were especially close to the heart of CFO and head rib cook Brad Huddleston. Sensing a need, the Auto Be Grillin’ bbq cooks packed up and headed to Tupelo to assist with the feeding of the many displaced residents.
“Auto Be Grillin’ has had a relationship with OBR since the Joplin, MO tornado. Some of us went to Joplin and took a Bobcat and chainsaws. On the last night we were there, exhausted from removing trees from homes, I told the guys that I was proud of the things we had accomplished, but that at the next tragedy, I was hauling a smoker, where I could feed thousands instead of helping a few. I discovered OBR shortly after Joplin. We have since been involved in Moore, OK and Tupelo, MS.” - Brad Huddleston, CFO
During their time in Tupelo, MS with OBR , the Auto Be Grillin’ team members fed thousands of tornado victims and formed an alliance with another OBR member that would create the eventual World Champions of Ribs at the world’s largest bbq cooking contest.
“On deployment in Tupelo, we connected with Patrick Banks with Booty Que. We formed an alliance there and decided to collaborate for MIM. It obviously worked as we won the World Championship.” - Brad Huddleston, CFO