The Wrap Buddies Story
The Wrap Buddies Organization was founded by Tommy Strader and Felecia Dunn of 360 Wraps, Inc. in Dallas, Texas. Before Wrap Buddies, the majority of our charity work was to help those who were trying to start a business but might not have had the capital needed to wrap their vehicle, or for someone who was trying to get their kid involved in racing and spent most of their money just getting started. I (Tommy) have always been a softy for a real person with a real story and a real struggle. I like to help out the underdog, as I feel in many ways, I have been the underdog myself and have overcome many obstacles to get to where I am today. I have always felt it necessary to pay favors, good deeds and kindness forward.
I have always been greatly interested in different ways to give back but, unfortunately, most people just want us to donate free wraps to their businesses. For many shops, this is not feasible as you have to account for every square foot of media that goes through your door. With the expense of doing business today, it is just not easy to let go of a free wrap with hopes that you will possibly generate business from it in some way in the future.
Our way of giving back did not end up being vehicle wraps, and does not take much material at all! When I started 360 Wraps I tried wrapping one of my auto racing helmets. The wrap turned out so good that I started getting asked for racing helmet wraps at the track while competing. I have since done helmets for many NASCAR drivers and friends; because of this, 360 Wraps tends to pop up in the results of any internet search involving the words ‘helmet wrap’.
In June of 2009 we had a father of an infant come into the shop and ask if we could wrap a helmet for his baby. His son needed to wear a plastic helmet 23 hours per day in order to correct a flat spot on the soft side of his head- this is called Plagiocephaly. At the time, I had successfully completed many helmets for racecar drivers, but never a helmet for a baby so I said “Why not?!” and jumped right in! After we wrapped his child's helmet, he asked us what the cost would be for this service. I showed him some of our race car helmets and explained that we charge between $350 and $1,000 to wrap a helmet for a racecar driver depending on the complexity of the design and install. The father then informed me that the cranial bands cost $3,500 to $4,000 and that they are usually not covered by most insurance plans. Incredulously, I told him to let this be our gift as a way that we can give back from our wrap company. He was very appreciative and asked what he should tell other parents that wanted wraps for their children’s cranial bands.
“Tell them to give us a call.” I said having absolutely no idea that 1 out of 50 children has the condition that could require them to wear a cranial band. It started snowballing after that! We have been wrapping cranial bands since May of 2009 and have wrapped over 1,5900 of these helmets. We don't charge the parents anything for the wrap. Since we provide these services free of charge, when we get a parent or company who wants to donate, we can now accept the donations to our new Non-Profit. The money that we receive from donations is applied to help buy materials so we can do more wrap projects in the local children's hospitals that they would not have regularly had the budgets to do. We have met with the Dallas Scottish Rite Hospital and have already been able to complete our first projects! We are able to wrap walls, floors, medical equipment, and anything else we can get vinyl to stick to!
Thanks for supporting the recent Kendra Gives Back: Wrap Buddies Party. Check back with us for updates on upcoming events.