Charitable Works: Trucking organizations continue to give back during year of unprecedented challenges

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Haulin 4 Hunger
ATG employees are pictured above in front of Friendly House, one of the organizations that ATG supported with charitable giving this year. (Courtesy: TMAF)

WASHINGTON — Trucking Moves America Forward (TMAF), an industry-wide education and image movement, shared stories of the unique ways that the trucking industry has continued to give back to their communities over the holiday season. Trucking companies and organizations submitted their stories of charitable works to TMAF after a call for submissions through email and social media.

“During one of the most difficult years in our nation’s history, the trucking industry not only stepped up to deliver the essential goods we have relied on throughout the pandemic; but also gave back to their community through charitable acts and giving,” said Kevin Burch, co-chairman of TMAF and president of Jet Express Inc. “Trucking companies and organizations of all sizes and from states across the country stepped up once again year to help make the holidays a little brighter for those in need. From donating food, toys and transportation, to delivering food, medicine and supplies on the frontlines of the pandemic, trucking has helped keep our communities strong all year.”

The following are a few of the trucking companies and organizations that gave back to their communities during the 2020 holiday season.

Advantage Truck Group (ATG), based in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, hosted its annual Haulin’ 4 Hunger initiative to provide meals to those in need. With an increased need for food assistance because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ATG increased its efforts this year and provided 6,000 meals and support to 12 local food pantries.

American Trucking Associations (ATA) and its Workforce Heroes Program participated in Wreaths Across America. Nate McCarty and Sammy Brewster, Workforce Heroes professional truck drivers and Army veterans, drove the program’s truck from Maine to the Arlington National Cemetery. Additionally, ATA and Share the Road, its leading highway safety program, partnered with the American Logistics Aid Network to provide food and relief supplies to hurricane victims in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to help victims recover ahead of the holidays. ATA and Share the Road also worked together to educate motorists on the importance of safe driving during the holiday season.

Apex employee with gifts
Rachel Lewis, who organized the Apex Capital office gift drive, is pictured with some of the gifts donated by employees. (Courtesy: TMAF)

Employees of Fort Worth, Texas-based Apex Capital hosted a Virtual Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness and raised $1,725 to help fight breast cancer. Employees of Apex Capital also bought approximately $500 worth of gifts on Amazon wish lists to be gifted to local residents through a local organization and organized a virtual tag-pulling holiday gift donation event for a local children’s home.

The Arkansas Trucking Association partnered with a statewide coalition dedicated to raising awareness about adoption from foster care and delivered Christmas gifts to more than 480 children and teens during the program’s Candyland Christmas event.

Employees of Bestpass in Albany, New York, volunteered to build garden beds for a regional nonprofit; participated in a fundraiser to benefit children’s hospitals, raising more than $1,000; ran a virtual 5K Turkey Trot to support a regional foodbank; and collected toys for Toys for Tots.

Boshart Trucking Inc. of Tangent, Oregon, assisted the community during the wildfires that spread across the state. Efforts included the coordination of evacuations for local families and their livestock; the collection of and coordination of donations; and the delivery of hay bales to assist communities devastated by the fires with erosion control.

Brenny Transportation, based in St. Joseph, Minnesota, hosted its annual Driven to Serve campaign, which included a giving tree to benefit five local organizations; food and toy donations to three local food shelves; and helping children in need through the company’s involvement with the Minnesota Trucks and Toys Campaign.

Joplin, Missouri-based CFI raised $40,000 and supported 25 local, state, federal and global charitable efforts and organizations this year to help children, the elderly, veterans and first responders.

Conversion Interactive Agency, based in Brentwood, Tennessee, held an annual food drive and collected more than 900 cans from its employees for a local charity.

CRST truck drivers
CRST partnered with Central Furniture Rescue to help deliver furniture donations to the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, area after a straight-line wind storm devastated the community. Kendall George, left, and Chris Landwehr picked up the donated furniture. (Courtesy: TMAF)

CRST International, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, partnered with Central Furniture Rescue to help deliver furniture donations, such as chairs, couches and cushions, to the Cedar Rapids area after a derecho (straight-line wind) storm devasted the community, leaving many residents without roofs or homes.

Employees from DriverFacts, based in Anaheim, California, gave back to their community in many ways, including volunteer work for local food banks, charities and churches, as well as other charitable efforts to give back to members of the community, including seniors.

Four Star Freightliner Charitable
The truck manager for Four Star Freightliner donated 20 children’s bicycles after deciding to donate one bike for every chemotherapy treatment he completed. (Courtesy: TMAF)

The truck manager for Four Star Freightliner, located at the company’s Montgomery, Alabama, location, donated 20 children’s bicycles after deciding to donate one bike for every chemotherapy treatment he completed, turning a negative situation into a positive one by giving back to his community.

Garner Trucking gave back to its community in Findlay, Ohio, in several ways, including through the donation of a trailer to a local food drive; the donation of coats collected by employees for local community members; and a fundraiser to benefit Wreaths Across America, an event which Garner Trucking also participated in.

Employees of Great Dane, based in Savannah Georgia, gave back to the communities they serve in Nebraska and Pennsylvania this holiday season. In Wayne, Nebraska, employees held a food and clothing drive to support a local pantry and donated an additional $1,211. Great Dane employees in Danville, Pennsylvania, raised donations for a Salvation Army program and purchased gifts, clothing, shoes and coats for children of families in need.

Defiance, Ohio-based Keller Logistics Group raised funds for the company’s Keller Assists Veterans in Crisis, or Operation K.A.V.I.C. program, which helps local military personnel and veterans. Keller Logistics Group also served as a donation processing center for Soles4Souls and participated in Wreaths Across America.

Load One, based in Taylor, Michigan, partnered with several communities in their area to provide trailers for toy drives. Employees also collected toys at Load One facilities to donate to those in need within their community.

Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Melton Truck Lines Inc. gave back to the community through donations to local organizations; the purchase of a K-9 dog for the local police department; and the sponsorship of wreaths for Wreaths Across America. Additionally, one of Melton’s drivers led the effort to deliver supplies and essential items from Washington state to the New Orleans area following Hurricane Laura.

Mississippi Trucking Association (MTA) gave back to the community through support of local initiatives, including organizations with the mission of ending human trafficking. The association recently received two awards by these organizations, including from Truckers Against Trafficking and the Center for Violence Prevention.

During the pandemic, Dallas-based Omnitracs donated $25,000 to four charities in lieu of a holiday party. Omnitracs also supported Wreaths Across America for an 11th consecutive year and donated more than $73,000 to organizations and nonprofits nationwide, including the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund and Truckers Final Mile, as well as health care organizations, disadvantaged schools, food banks and more.

Pilot Co., based in Knoxville, Tennessee, served as a sponsor of Wreaths Across America this year and hosted a fundraiser to benefit the event. Guests at any Pilot Co. location were able to round up their purchases to donate to Wreaths Across America during the holiday season.

SH 130 Charitable
SH 130 Concession Company employees are pictured above with the Caldwell County Sheriff Department after making a donation of toys for the local community. (Courtesy: TMAF)

State Highway 130 Concession Company in Texas partnered with the Caldwell County Sheriff Department’s Brown Santa in Central Texas to donate more than 100 toys, games and books for local families in need. The company also donated $5,000 to a local food pantry to help meet an increased need in the region this year.

Thomas E. Keller Trucking Inc., an affiliate of Keller Logistics Group based in Defiance, Ohio, created the “Charity Truck” to advance awareness, understanding and acceptance of autism as the truck travels the country. A percentage of the truck’s revenue will be donated to causes, charities and initiatives related to autism and youth development within the community. Thomas E. Keller Trucking Inc. also partnered with a local organization to wrap a semi-trailer to raise awareness of and help end violence against women.

Transport America out of Eagan, Minnesota, donated $950 in gift cards to a local charity program that provides assistance for local families. Additionally, Transport America supported Wreaths Across America and delivered more than 10,000 wreaths.

Cleveland, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America launched its first point-of-sale fundraising campaign at the company’s travel stores, restaurants and fuel buildings to benefit the St. Christopher Trucker Relief Fund, which helps professional drivers who may be out of work due to an illness or injury. Additionally, TravelCenters of America ran a gift-card fundraiser in collaboration with the American Red Cross to benefit families in the Cleveland area and veterans at regional VA hospitals.

The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and its member companies were instrumental in the delivery of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s The Wall That Heals mobile education unit and Wreaths Across America remembrance wreaths. Additionally, TCA and Cargo Transporters Inc. hosted a community stop in Asheville, North Carolina, for residents to gather and view the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree as it traveled to Washington, D.C.

The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association hosted a ThankATrucker fundraiser to thank truck drivers for delivering vital supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceeds from the fundraiser were used to purchase $10 Kwik Trip meal gift cards that were handed out to over 900 truck drivers at various locations across the state.

The Virginia Trucking Association’s member company, VHI Express of Chester, provided trailers and transportation for the collection of food donations in the Richmond, Virginia, area by local Boy Scouts. The food was transported to a nonprofit organization that distributes food to neighbors in need across Central Virginia.

To learn more about TMAF and the movement’s work, visit www.truckingmovesamerica.com.

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