Truckers for Troops 2019 campaign launches on Veterans Day

November 2019

Greg Grisolano

|

The 2019 Truckers for Troops telethon raises money to support U.S. military personnel at home and abroad.

This year’s campaign will begin on Veterans Day, and runs through Friday, Nov. 15. During the campaign, membership to join the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is offered at a discounted rate of $35. Ten percent of the amount paid during the campaign week will go toward the Truckers for Troops fund, and OOIDA will then match those funds.

To be a part of it, just call OOIDA’s main number, 816-229-5791. During business hours, let operators know you’re calling about Truckers for Troops, and they will transfer you to membership. Phones will be answered live, and the switchboards will stay open later than usual, so you can call until 7:30 p.m. CST.

Individual tax-deductible contributions to the Truckers for Troops fund are also welcome and can be paid to the OOIDA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

The 2018 telethon saw truckers come together and generate $39,662 to support U.S. military personnel. Veterans are a huge part of the trucking industry overall, and more than one-third of all OOIDA members have served in the military.

Meeting the need at home

For more than a decade, OOIDA’s Truckers for Troops has, through the generosity of its members and with a matching contribution by the Association, raised more than $635,000 for care packages and other supplies to help U.S. military personnel.

In 2015, the Association expanded the program’s mission to include supplying needed items to various medical care facilities for wounded or needy veterans back in the states.

One of those facilities is the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System. In 2018, the Tucson-based facility partnered with the PGA to launch PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere). The program introduces golf to disabled veterans, to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.

Through Truckers for Troops, OOIDA has donated 16 sets of golf clubs to the program, for use by veterans.

“Without support like that, we would not have the program that we have today,” said Mike Ramsey, a transition patient advocate for the program.

To date, the Association has sent more than 3,200 large care packages and provided items to nearly 39,000 military personnel stationed in war zones. All the purchasing, organizing and packing of the boxes is handled by OOIDA staff volunteers, ensuring that 100% of the money raised is used to purchase items and cover shipping.

OOIDA requests the names and addresses of troops serving in active combat zones or veteran facilities with unmet needs to add to the Association’s list of recipients. Call the name and address in to Nikki Johnson at OOIDA at 816-229-5791. You also may email her at Troops@OOIDA.com. Be sure to include an address and a projected stateside return date for individuals.

Those combat zones include Afghanistan, the Kosovo area of Yugoslavia, and the Arabian Peninsula areas, which include the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, part of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, the Association seeks handmade cards or letters for inclusion in care packages. If you would like to include a card or letter in the package, please send it to OOIDA, attention: Truckers for Troops, P.O. Box 1000; Grain Valley, MO 64029. Towns or school names can be included, but please do not include last names or other personal information. LL

 

Greg Grisolano

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.