NEVADA, Mo. — This week, truck drivers stopping by Buzz’s BBQ just off Interstate 49 at exit 101 in Nevada, Missouri, have been treated to a variety of freshly baked goodies, all made by Gaynell Williams of Schell City, Missouri.
A photo of Williams in the back of her SUV, wrapped in a blanket for warmth and handing out individually wrapped treats, has made the rounds on Facebook, appearing on numerous trucking pages and gathering countless comments and thank-yous from truckers around the nation.
As the wife of a trucker, Williams said she felt a calling to do something to help drivers passing through on I-49. However, when the idea of distributing home-baked treats first came to her late last week, Williams said she tried to dismiss the thought, telling herself it “wasn’t a good idea.”
“I’ll be flat honest. I was lying in bed, having a ‘lull’ moment, and God started kicking me to get up and bake,” she said. “I tried rolling over to ignore my thoughts, but again he kicked me and told me to get up and get busy.”
The next two days were spent busily baking and wrapping cookies and slices of cake and tucking a scripture card into each package as an added bit of encouragement for weary drivers. Monday morning, Williams said, she headed out “with the full armor of God protecting me” to the parking lot of Buzz’s BBQ, a local eatery that has given Williams permission to use the premises.
“To my surprise, I spent the day doing what God called me to do, and one trucker shared (this photo) and it’s gone viral on the truckers’ [Facebook groups],” she said. “I had no idea how much it meant to everyone.”
On Tuesday, Williams was back at Buzz’s with another load of treats to distribute. She said several drivers offered donations to help with baking supplies, and that she plans to continue her mission of providing small treats for drivers.
Although flour is hard to find on grocery-store shelves right now, Williams said, “God has been providing me with flour. Last night, my brother in Michigan ordered 100 pounds (of flour) to help out. God is so good. I used the donations I got from truckers to purchase bags and other items for baking the goods.”
Realizing that germs are a concern, especially at this time, Williams said she practices safe-food-handling techniques when preparing baked goods in her kitchen, securing her hair and wearing gloves.
“I’m just a trucker’s wife trying to show appreciation for what (these drivers) are doing,” she said, adding that her husband, Michael Williams, has been driving for Creel Trucking in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, for 12 years.
To find out when Williams will be distributing treats at Buzz’s BBQ, watch the Trucker Feed Facebook group for her posts.
Williams has this message for the nation’s truckers:
“They are appreciated. I wish I could reach out to them all. My little home-baked goods can’t do a lot, but if it helps someone in any way then it’s where God wants me to be. I can’t wait to meet more of them and hear their stories. Stay safe, and God bless.”
Linda Garner-Bunch has been in publishing for more than 30 years. You name it, Linda has written about it. She has served as an editor for a group of national do-it-yourself publications and has coordinated the real estate section of Arkansas’ only statewide newspaper, in addition to working on a variety of niche publications ranging from bridal magazines to high-school sports previews and everything in between. She is also an experienced photographer and copy editor who enjoys telling the stories of the “Knights of the Highway,” as she calls our nation’s truck drivers.