St. Christopher Fund sets fundraising goal in pandemic year
January 29, 2021
•Land Line Staff
The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund not only reached its $1 million fundraising goal for 2020 but handily surpassed it and set a record for itself.
The nonprofit, which provides financial assistance to ill and injured truck drivers, said Jan. 29 that it had raised $1.44 million in 2020 despite what seemed a daunting time for charity organizations.
For 2021, the St. Christopher Fund has set a fundraising goal of $1.1 million.
In early 2020, meeting the goal seemed daunting, said Donna Kennedy, executive director of the St. Christopher Fund, in an interview with Land Line Now’s Scott Thompson. Besides the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization hadn’t met its fundraising goal in 2019 and had to consider scaling back services.
“We were pretty much running in the red for the first three quarters. March and April came, and we were really nervous, and then we had this really big outpouring of support. We really were shocked,” Kennedy said. “We were scared first, then shocked, and then totally surprised by the end of the year.”
Instead of curtailing support, the pandemic turned a spotlight on professional commercial drivers and the important role they play, Kennedy said.
“This year really brought the focus on truck drivers, and people really understood they were getting everything from them and how important they were,” Kennedy said. “And we saw that directly impact our donations, of people really reaching out, saying ‘I want to support those people. I get it.’“
Kennedy said there were 49 new sponsors this year, and that the organization raised more than it has in the 13 years of its existence.
What St. Christopher Fund does with the money
In addition to providing financial assistance to ill and injured truck drivers, the St. Christopher Fund also sponsors driver wellness programs.
In 2020, according to a news release, St. Christopher Fund:
- Supported 322 drivers in 2020.
- Paid more than $394,145 in payments on behalf of beneficiaries.
- Spent more than $11,200 on drivers’ health and wellness, totaling $110,000 since 2008.
- Registered more than 108 professional drivers in its tobacco cessation incentive program, Rigs Without Cigs.
Diabetes prevention program
This year, the St. Christopher Fund is starting a new program, Driving Down Diabetes.
This free diabetes prevention program is approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and starts Feb. 1.
It is a yearlong program offering weekly, biweekly and monthly consultations. The program includes a lifestyle coach will work with drivers. The program will also provide access to CDC-approved curriculum as well as a support group with similar goals and challenges. LL