OOIDA’s tradition of giving continues
December 7, 2021
As they have for the last 15 years, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association ended the calendar year by giving back.
Truckers for Troops was started by OOIDA in 2007 as a way to send care packages to service members overseas and veterans’ facilities in the United States. In 2021, the campaign raised $32,300 for military veterans.
On Dec. 7, OOIDA representatives presented a monetary donation as well as a truckload full of goods for residents of the Veterans Community Project, a community of “tiny houses” in Kansas City, Mo., established to assist homelessness among veterans.
“It’s really important that we have buy-in from the community because we are a nonprofit that doesn’t accept federal money,” Chris Admire, executive director at Veterans Community Project-Kansas City, said. “These relationships are the foundation of what we do here. This is just as much theirs as it is ours. It is the community’s nonprofit. The goal the founder set was to end veteran homelessness, and here in Kansas City we’re taking that to a little different level.”
Truckers for Troops has a special connection as more than one-third of OOIDA’s members are veterans of the armed forces.
“This one is near and dear to the organization as a lot of truckers, including myself and our president, Todd Spencer, are veterans,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh said. “It means a lot to us. We don’t like to see other veterans struggle, and I don’t think anyone in America wants to see veterans struggle.”
Even with all the obstacles of the past couple of years, OOIDA and its members remained steadfast in their giving.
“Our staff and members are all very giving,” Pugh said. “It’s been a rough year-and-a-half, and everyone is frustrated. But at the end of the day people’s hearts are still in the right place and caring for people.”
Following another successful 2021 campaign, Truckers for Troops has now raised more than $700,000 for military personnel and veterans. LL