Imagine losing your job just days before Christmas. Even worse, imagine that you’re a truck driver in another state when it happened, now unable to get home for the holidays.
That’s what happened to several employees two years ago when their trucking company had closed its doors, stopping payment on drivers’ fuel cards, leaving them stranded for the holidays.
Fortunately for 14 drivers, they were given the best Christmas present of all, much needed aid in getting home for the holidays thanks to the Trucker Charity Christmas Group.
Trucker Charity Inc. began in 2008 when a truck driver known as Wonderful Wayne, posted an idea on a trucking site suggesting the notion of establishing a fundraiser that would help needy truckers at Christmastime.
In its first year, the 501 non-profit charity split the money it raised between needy families.
In the next year, however, businesses who had heard about the charity began to get involved, donating items that the organization could sell to raise money. Trucker Charity used this money to help the truckers mentioned earlier, get home for the holidays.
This touching story earned the hearts of more and more sponsors and the next year, the group was able to provide 15 families with a $600 check to use as they’d like for Christmas. A recording on Trucker Charity Inc.’s website recalls the group telling one of the families that they had won a $600 Walmart money gram and the shear appreciation in their voices.
Another driver, who had been fired for refusing to load and operate a trailer that the DOT had placed out of service, was able to get back home from Grand Island, NE to Tampa, FL with the group’s help.
These three years raised more than $30,000, helping 49 truckers and their families.
This Christmas season marks the fourth year in which the Trucker Charity Christmas Group is lending a helping hand, calling on individuals to help make it possible.
100% of donations are used to provide truckers with transportation, food, and stay. As Trucker Charity notes, the cost of this per trucker averages $200-$300, while “The Christmas Group funds…are given out as cash for the families to use however they wish.”
There are many ways to donate:
-Special Edition Ornament: Every year a different individual/company sponsors the Trucker Charity Ornament. Individuals can purchase the special edition ornament (sponsored by The Christmas Group this year) with proceeds going towards the cause.
-Peddle Car Raffle: Individuals can purchase raffle tickets for their chance of winning a John Deere Peddle Car right in time for the holidays. Tickets cost $3 for one ticket, $10 for 11 tickets, $20 for 25 tickets, and so on. Those purchasing 25 tickets will receive a free ornament-60 tickets a Trucker Charity CD by Terry Wooley, 100 tickets both the ornament and cd. But hurry, the group will be choosing the winner on December 17th. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.truckercharity.org/.
-A one time or monthly donation.
-Fundraising Store: Individuals can purchase items including CDs, DVDs, clothing, books, calendars, truck accessories, and more at http://www.truckercharity.org/christmas-group-2010.php.
The group also encourages individuals to join/volunteer. Many of those truckers who have received help in the past have decided to give back by becoming members and helping others. Yearly membership cost $45.
Those wishing to apply for assistance can do so online or by calling 888-523-0087. Nominations are due by Dec. 19.
To learn more about Trucker Charity, visit their site at http://www.truckercharity.org/.
What do you think of truckers getting involved/giving back this holiday season? List your comments below.