WASHINGTON – Santa has his elves to keep his North Pole operation running at full tilt. But everywhere else it takes volunteers to uphold the Christmas spirit.
Across America, the trucking industry has done its part to make the season merry, according to Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), the organization devoted to promoting trucking’s image.
TMAF recently put out an industrywide call for submissions through email and social media to get a sampling of the holiday-season charitable work going on within the trucking industry. The resulting list shows that trucking professionals may not wear curly-toed green boots or hats with bells (although the survey didn’t ask what they do off the clock), but their holiday spirit is indistinguishable from the little guys at Santa’s workshop in their efforts to make everyone’s holiday season bright.
“From participating in efforts to feed the hungry and support our veterans, to collecting and delivering toys, shoes and other donations for those in need, the trucking industry has always taken great pride in giving back to the communities we serve,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF and president of Jet Express Inc. “Our trucking companies, drivers and employees united to donate their time, money and supplies to help others.”
On Thursday, TMAF released a list of those submissions.
“TMAF is proud to share a collection of efforts of the organizations and companies who supported those in need this year this holiday season,” Burch said.
TMAF acknowledges the following companies and organizations, “that are making a difference in American communities”:
- American Trucking Associations’ America’s Road Team, which helped transport items from Dallas to Orlando, Florida, for the Snowball Express event hosted by the Gary Sinise Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps America’s veterans, first responders and their families.
- American Trucking Associations’ Share the Road program, which participated in the Wreaths Across America convoy from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery. The convoy made stops in communities along the trip to Arlington, met with Gold Star Families and showcased the important role trucking plays in honoring America’s fallen service members. ATA staff joined Share the Road truck drivers Nate McCarty and Ralph Garcia of ABF Freight to help disperse wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.
- Albany, New York-based Bestpass collected items for “Goodnight Bags,” for The Equinox Domestic Violence Shelter. The bags included items such as small blankets, flashlights, sketch pads, color pencils, crayons and stuffed animals to help make a child’s stay at shelter as homey as possible. Bestpass also provided support and donated services for other causes through its #BestpassGives community outreach program.
- CFI, out of Joplin, Missouri, donated to several charities, including Salvation Army, Bethany House, and Wilmer’s Initiative to Spread Hope. CFI also donated 51 Christmas trees to local schools, senior centers and Children’s Haven, and donated to Wreaths Across America.
- Goodyear, Arizona-based Contracted Driver Services donated blankets to The Honey Foundation, which provides blankets, jackets and socks to local homeless shelters during the holiday season.
- Employees of DriverFacts, based out of Anaheim, California, give back through a variety of ways, including serving annually in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky at Big Creek Missions; making visits to veteran centers, adult day care centers and convalescent homes. They also work in schools, deliver food boxes, help weatherize homes and raise funds for Wreaths Across America at an annual banquet in Washington D.C. This year they participated in their local wreath laying ceremony and raised money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Gold Rush Cure Foundation.
- Garner Trucking, based out of Findlay, Ohio, participated in the 13th Annual Helping Hands Food Drive, coordinated with The University of Findlay, providing two trucks, trailers and drivers to haul over 97,400 pounds of food. They also delivered a truckload of wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America, and employees donated coats to a local Coats for Christmas campaign and adopted a veteran and his family for the holiday season through the Salute a Veteran for the Holidays program.
- Defiance, Ohio-based Keller Logistics Group serves as a donation processing center for Soles4Souls, a global nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing. To date, Keller Logistics Group has collected and processed 16,867 pairs of shoes. Keller Logistics Group also supports veterans through the Keller Assists Veterans in Crisis program, which has raised $181,173 in donations, and by helping deliver wreaths to cemeteries across Ohio for Wreaths Across America Day.
- Kenan Advantage Group (KAG), based out of North Canton, Ohio, participated in Project North Pole through the Domestic Violence Project Inc. and helped support families at one of the local shelters. KAG also hosted a holiday party for their cleaning crew. Additionally, Jackie Casassa, a KAG Dispatcher in Midland, Michigan, (See the photo above) collects toys and donates them to the Midland County Probate & Juvenile Court Foster Care Program and Midland County Foster Closet.
- Load One, LLC, based out of Taylor, Missouri, donated winter jackets to students at a local elementary school. Load One transported the jackets from Chicago and used their warehouse to sort the jackets before delivering them to the school.
- San Diego, California-based Lytx partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of San Diego. Lytx employees participated by providing gifts for 10 families that they “adopted”. Lytx employees also served lunches at Father Joe’s Village, San Diego’s largest homeless services provider, which provides care to nearly 1,800 individuals daily.
- The Minnesota Trucking Association (MTA) raised $35,000 for its Trucks and Toys program, which helps connect children at local charities with holiday gifts provided by trucking industry professionals. MTA members were able to donate over 3,000 toys to charities throughout the state of Minnesota. MTA members also raised $11,000 to donate to a local state senator’s Annual Stock the Shelves event, which collects funds for Hunger Solutions Minnesota.
- The National Automobile Dealers Association Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund, which includes the American Truck Dealers, provided financial assistance to employees from three commercial truck dealerships in North Carolina and South Carolina who sustained personal property damage from Hurricane Florence.
- Omnitracs, based out of Dallas, partnered with a variety of charities, including Wreaths Across America Foundation; Omnitracs pledged $25,000 to purchase 2,500 wreaths for wreath-laying ceremonies across the nation. Omnitracs’ individual offices also supported local charities. The team in Minnetonka, Minnesota, held a food drive and donated 499 pounds of food and made a monetary donation to its local food shelf. The Omnitracs’ team in Oakville, Ontario, partnered with The Mississauga Food Bank and raised $1,032.78 through an online giving page, and donated 187 pounds of food.
- Pilot Flying J, based out of Knoxville, Tennessee, donated $2 million to more than 20 nonprofit organizations that support veterans and those in need throughout the communities they serve, including Hire Heroes USA, Boys and Girls Club of America and Feeding America.
- Commercial Vehicle Driving instructors from Florida’s Pinellas Technical College delivered a trailer full of wreaths to Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg during the Wreaths Across America Day.
- Prime Inc., based out of Springfield, Missouri, hosted a dodgeball tournament to raise money and toy donations for Toys for Tots.
- R&M Freight, based out of South Hampton, New Hampshire, a member of the New Hampshire Motor Transport Association, donated their trailer at the Newington Mall for the Marine Toys for Tots Program, which was filled with donations.
- SH 130 Concession Co., which operates and maintains Segments 5 & 6 of SH 130 from Mustang Ridge to Seguin, Texas, partnered with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department’s Brown Santa program, which distributes hundreds of toys across the county in Central Texas. SH 130 Concession Co. provided over 70 toys, books and games for local families.
- Knoxville, Tennessee-based Skyline Transportation Inc. donated a tractor, trailer and drivers in support of the Mission of Hope Christmas Campaign, which delivers food, hygiene products, new clothing and new toys to families in Appalachia. Skyline also participated in Wreaths Across America transporting nearly 2,000 wreaths from Maine to the Knoxville National Cemetery.
- TransLand, based out of Springfield, Missouri, transported toys and helped package eggs and food for distribution for a local nonprofit, Crosslines, which distributes holiday food and brand-new toys to thousands. TransLand also participated in Wreaths Across America, delivering a truckload of wreaths from Maine to national cemeteries in Illinois. Employees at TransLand also adopted a family of five to ensure they have a Merry Christmas.
- The Texas Trucking Association’s Emerging Leaders Council coordinates an annual donation event for Toys for Tots. The council arranged the pickup and storage of toys from locations across the state. Participating member companies included: Canal Cartage, Gulf Intermodal Services, Point 2 Point, Scopelitis, Apex Capital, Central Freight, Walport, Volvo, Refrigerated Transport Inc., The Fuentes Firm, CKJ Transport, Premier Refrigerated Warehouse, Great West, Mondics Insurance Group, Utility Trailer of Dallas, Bruckner Truck Sales of Dallas, Craddock Moving and Storage and Edward Jones of Plano.
- Tri State Truck Center, Inc., based out of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, hosted their annual Haulin’ 4 Hunger program, which provides fresh meals to almost 13,000 community residents.
- The Truckload Carriers Association and its member companies were instrumental in the delivery of the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s The Wall That Heals, as well as Wreaths Across America remembrance wreaths this holiday season.
To learn more about TMAF, visit http://www.truckingmovesamerica.com.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.