Trucking industry makes charitable donations this holiday season

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Justin Akin, accounting assistant at Bestpass, wraps a gift for a member of Bestpass’ Adopt a Family. Many trucking organizations donated time and money to charitable causes this holiday season. (Courtesy: TMAF)

Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF) recognizes the many ways that the trucking industry gave back to their local communities during this holiday season. Trucking companies and organizations consisting of all sizes across the U.S. submitted their stories of charitable works after TMAF issued an industry-wide call for submissions through email and social media.

“While America is preparing for the busy holiday season, it’s important to acknowledge the dedicated efforts of the trucking industry who are not only delivering our special holiday moments, but who are giving back to their communities,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF and president of Jet Express, Inc. “Whether it is through charitable donations, delivering the goods that make a family’s holiday special, or helping communities prepare for severe weather challenges, trucking keeps America moving forward during the winter season.”

Below is a list of some of the U.S. trucking companies and organizations that gave back to their communities during the 2019 holiday season. Professional truck drivers and employees also donated their time and service for the causes important to them.

Haulin’ 4 Hunger

Advantage Truck Group (ATG), based in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, hosted their annual Haulin’ 4 Hunger program, a program to help address hunger and food insecurity in the community, and delivered nearly 3,000 fresh meals to six food pantry organizations in central Massachusetts.

Adopt a Family

Bestpass in Albany, New York collected and donated presents and household items for two families through the Albany County Executive’s Adopt a Family Program. Bestpass employees shopped for more than 100 items on the children’s wish lists, as well as household items for the family, and wrapped them to be delivered to the families just before the holidays. During the holiday season, Bestpass employees also collected gloves for Street Soldiers, which provides hot meals and needed essentials to the less fortunate.

Driven to Serve

Brenny Transportation, based in St. Joseph, Minnesota, hosted their annual Driven to Serve campaign. Brenny Transportation employees participated in a giving tree and the items collected were donated to six local organizations. Brenny Transportation also donated food and toys to three local food shelves and the Minnesota Trucking Association’s Trucks and Toys Campaign to help children in need. Employees also volunteered their time within the community. This year, employees built and donated a Christmas tree stand for their local church and sang Christmas carols at nursing homes.

Truckloads of Treasures

Employees from Joplin, Missouri-based CFI raised over $41,000 in donations and supported 19 charities across eight cities as part of their 26th annual Truckloads of Treasures Holiday Giving Campaign. Employees also partnered with service organizations in their communities to provide holiday gifts, food and other items for underserved children and senior citizens throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

Coats for Christmas

Garner Trucking in Findlay, Ohio donated a trailer for a local food drive hosted by The University of Findlay, which served as a collection point for coats and winter hats. Employees also volunteered for the Coats for Christmas Drive hosted by a local elementary school and adopted a local veteran for the holidays through their local Veterans Service Office. Garner Trucking also participated in the national and local Wreaths Across America events.

Veterans in Crisis

Defiance, Ohio-based Keller Logistics Group raised $273,159 and honored 524 hardship requests through their Keller Assists Veterans In Crisis, or Operation K.A.V.I.C. program, which helps local military personnel and veterans. Keller Logistics Group served as a donation processing center for Soles4Souls, a global nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty through the distribution of shoes and clothing. In 2019, Keller Logistics Group collected and processed over 9,000 pairs of shoes. Keller Logistics Group also participated in Wreaths Across America in Ohio.

Young Living Salinas Valley

Leonard’s Express in Farmington, New York transported a truckload of donated food to California to support the Young Living Salinas Valley program. In their community, Leonard’s Express delivered two truckloads of donated goods and donated 138 Thanksgiving dinner boxes to the local Small Business Council’s Cares Thanksgiving Drive. Employees volunteered at a gift-wrapping booth to benefit the Friends of Ontario ARC Foundation, which provides innovative programs and services for people with disabilities or other challenges. Leonard’s Express also donated trucks and drivers for Wreaths Across America.

Trucks & Toys

The Minnesota Trucking Association raised $37,173 and donated 3,048 toys to more than 20 charities throughout the state of Minnesota as a result of their annual Trucks & Toys program. Trucking companies throughout the state participated in the program through donations and serving as collection sites.

Torch Run Truck Convoy

The Rhode Island Trucking Association co-hosted Rhode Island’s first Torch Run Truck Convoy for Special Olympics. The Truck Convoy is a fundraising event hosted in partnership with law enforcement and truckers to increase support for the Special Olympics. Over 50 trucks and 30 companies participated in the event to benefit the Rhode Island Special Olympics.

Blue Jeans Brighten Up Children’s Christmas

Titan Transfer, Inc., based in Shelbyville, Tennessee, runs an annual Blue Jeans Brighten Up Children’s Christmas program, which supports Titan employees and fellow community members in need of assistance during the holiday season. Throughout the year, Titan Transfer’s employees contribute $1 to the fund to participate in “Casual Friday” at the office; employees are also encouraged to donate to the fund through weekly payroll deductions. Titan Transfer uses the money collected through the fund to donate meals and toys to local charities and organizations in the community.

Wreaths Across America

Leawood, Kansas-based Cline Wood and Scott City, Missouri-based Buchheit Logistics participated in Wreaths Across America for a fourth year. Buchheit Logistics delivered two truckloads of wreaths that were placed on veterans’ graves in local cemeteries in Illinois and Missouri. American Trucking Associations (ATA) led a convoy and delivered wreaths from Bangor, Maine to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. ATA’s Workforce Heroes Truck, which is part of their Workforce Heroes Program, led the convoy. ATA also hosted a Tribute to Wreaths Across America raising over $50,000 to purchase additional wreaths for cemeteries across the U.S.

Contract Leasing Corp. (CLC) in Piscataway, New Jersey donated the fully wrapped Wreaths Across America Honor Trailer and hosted the challenge for a company to sponsor the trailer. The Wreaths Across America Honor Trailer, which was sponsored by UPS this year, was escorted to Arlington to support National Wreaths Across America Day. In addition to the trailer donation, CLC donated to Wreaths Across America.

Strafford, Missouri-based TransLand participated in Wreaths Across America by delivering wreaths to Ohio and Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Additionally, TransLand joined with the Springfield Area Motor Carriers Club (SAMCC) and led the effort to ensure that all U.S. veterans in Springfield would be honored during the holiday season. Last year, only 6,000 of 14,000 veterans’ graves received a wreath. This year, TransLand and SAMCC raised enough funds to cover 14,500 graves.

 Sheriff’s Department’s Brown Santa

SH 130 Concession Co., which operates and maintains the southern sections of SH 130 in central Texas, partnered with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department’s Brown Santa, which collects presents for children in need in Central Texas. This year, SH 130 donated over 80 toys, games and books for local families in the community.

Bike MS Race

Employees from Anaheim, California-based DriverFacts gave back to their community in many ways, including serving in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky at Big Creek Missions; volunteering at their local church; raising support for the Multiple Sclerosis Society during the BIKE MS race; supporting the Gold Rush Cure Foundation with “A Pot of Gold” program; and volunteering at adult day care and nursing homes, veteran centers, schools and more.

St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund

Nonprofit organization, The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, helped professional truck drivers and families who were taken off the road after an illness or injury by paying the families’ rent, utilities, vehicle payments, and insurance payments. Since their inception in 2008, The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund has helped over 3,000 with more than $3 million to date.

Truckers Christmas Group

The Truckers Christmas Group (TGCO), a nonprofit organization, hosted their 12th annual holiday fundraising campaign in partnership with trucking’s top musicians to help raise funds for professional truck drivers and their families who need additional help and assistance during the holiday season. This year, TGCO assisted 25 families with $500 per family. Over the past eleven years, TGCO has helped 154 trucking families and raised and distributed $90,000.

Toys for Tots

Employee-owners from Shelbyville, Tennessee-based Big G Express, Inc.’s raised $1,600 and collected toys for The Marine Corps Toys for Tots program in Bedford County, Tennessee. Big G Express also served as a toy donation site and provided a trailer for the 53rd Annual Lincoln County Toy Drive in Fayetteville, Tennessee. The toy drive provided toys for approximately more than 500 children in the community.

American Red Cross

Cleveland, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America supported The American Red Cross by hosting an annual holiday toy drive. This year, approximately 500 local kids benefited as a result of the toy drive. TravelCenters of America also supported Toys for Tots; participating locations across the country are official Toy Drop Sites.

Fighting Hunger

Ryder employees across the country volunteered to help charitable organizations in their local community, such as Meals on Wheels, The Red Cross and Rise Against Hunger. For the eighth consecutive year, Ryder employees contributed to the global day of giving by volunteering at local food banks, making bagged lunches, conducting toy drives, installing smoke alarms and performing other gifts of caring.

Touch-A-Truck

The Trucking Association of New York (TANY) hosted several events throughout the year, including golf outings and touch-a-truck events, that raised over $21,000 in donations. TANY donated the money to various charities, including the Veterans Miracle Center in Albany, Paige’s Butterfly Run in Syracuse, Holy Childhood in Rochester, and Long Island Cares. TANY also held a gift drive in conjunction with their holiday party to support Things of My Very Own, an organization that provides support services for children in crisis.

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