Truckers are kind and giving year-round, but they always bring it big around the holidays.
The generosity of truck drivers is a year-round thing.
This past August, truckers attending the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas stepped up to generate more than $21,000 for the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund. In September, thousands of truck drivers participated in various truck convoys across the U.S. and Canada to raise money for the Special Olympics.
So it’s no surprise that truck drivers are also dedicated to helping others during the holiday season. Each year, several trucking charities work to make the Christmas season a little better for others.
Sleigh Bells and Santa
Created in 2015, the Sleigh Bells and Santa program helps provide gifts to the children of deceased truck drivers.
The program was an addition to the Truckers Final Mile, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity that helps return truck drivers to their families in the event of death. The Sleigh Bells and Santa campaign is open to any child age 18 or younger who lost a truck driver parent in the past year.
According to TruckersFinalMile.org, the charity provided 18 children gifts from $2,300 in general donations.
To nominate a child, send a detailed email with verifying information to SleighBells@TruckersFinalMile.org no later than Dec. 20. Gifts can be donated to Truckers Final Mile; 3301-R Coors Blvd. NW 293; Albuquerque, NM 87120. The gifts should be shipped unwrapped, and the deadline is also Dec. 20.
Donations may also be made to the TruckersFinalMile.org website.
“The intent of the program is to let them know that they are not forgotten,” said Robert Palm, the charity’s founder. “The trucking family is still by their side and is still thinking about them.”
Meals for 18 Wheels
The charity delivers meals to truckers in need all year long. However, Meals for 18 Wheels is especially active around the holidays.
Started the day before Thanksgiving in 2013, Meals for 18 Wheels attempts to provide drivers who are working on Thanksgiving and Christmas with holiday meals.
“During the holidays, every driver is encouraged to participate,” according to the Meals for 18 Wheels Facebook page.
Outside of the holidays, the charity works to connect truck drivers in need with volunteers across 48 states and Canada. Drivers are limited to three meals over a six-month period.
For more information about receiving a meal or volunteering, go to the organization’s Facebook page or email MF18Wheels@gmail.com.
Truckers Christmas Group
Launched in 2008, the charity supports CDL holders and their families during the holiday season.
Truckers Christmas Group aims to help truckers who have recently lost their job or have been coping with an illness or catastrophic event.
In 2018, the organization delivered $8,000 to 16 families. Since the charity’s inception, it has raised more than $90,000 and helped 154 trucking families ease the financial burdens associated with the holiday season.
Nominations for the 2019 holiday season started on Nov. 18 and will be taken until Dec. 11. According to Truckers Christmas Group, the chosen families will be notified by Santa Claus on Dec. 16-17. For more information about the charity, go to TruckersChristmasGroup.org.
Wreaths Across America
Each year, truckers from across the nation donate their time and their trucks to deliver wreaths to the graves of fallen veterans.
Wreaths Across America started in 1992 when Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine, found himself with a surplus of wreaths toward the end of the holiday season. Arrangements were made to place the wreaths in the older sections of Arlington National Cemetery.
Gradually, the movement has grown as wreath-laying ceremonies are conducted all over the country, as well as Arlington. In 2018, nearly 60,000 volunteers placed 253,000 wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery alone. Overall, 1.8 million wreaths were placed at 1,640 locations.
This year’s National Wreaths Across America Day is slated for Dec. 14. For more information about the campaign, go to WreathsAcrossAmerica.org. LL