Each year, the holiday season gives us so much to appreciate and look forward to: Time dedicated to warm moments with loved ones, the opportunity to find stillness and reflect on the year behind us and the year ahead, and, if we’re lucky, a reminder about what’s most important to us as individual people and as organizations.
For me, something that comes into stark focus around the holidays is the reminder to seek out ways to give back financially and with other resources, and to remember the needs of so many others in our own backyards and in the community that is our trucking industry. I wanted to take a moment to invite you to join me in this season of giving by providing a list of organizations in our industry that are so worthy of your consideration and support.
Aside from local giving options like toy drives, sponsoring children in the local community to provide gifts for, and donating to food banks or homeless shelters, there are also a myriad of charities doing impactful work in our industry and, specifically, for our driver community when the need arises.
NTI is humbled and proud to be able to support the organizations listed below throughout the year, especially so during the holiday season. If you or your company are looking for organizations and programs to support financially or with volunteer efforts this season, please consider the ones I’ve listed here. They all rely on the generosity of those in our industry to make it possible for them to carry out their critical, powerful, and altruistic work.
I’ve also jotted down a few other notes for giving opportunities for you and your fleet for this season beyond charitable support, so don’t miss those at the bottom of this blog!
From the team at NTI, we thank you on behalf of these organizations for any support you can provide. Have a happy holiday season!
Truckers Final Mile
Longtime truck driver Robert Palm runs and operates Truckers Final Mile from the cab of his truck. Truckers Final Mile is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that helps families navigate some of their darkest hours by providing financial support and organizational efforts to bring drivers’ bodies home to rest in the event of a loss of life on the road. When needed, TFM also will cover funeral costs. Palm relies on support from the industry and from motor carriers to carry out this mission, and in recent years, he says, need for TFM’s assistance has been “unprecedented,” thus creating urgent need for support of his organization. To learn more and to make a donation, visit truckersfinalmile.org.
Meals For 18 Wheels
Meals For 18 Wheels began its charitable work 10 years ago this year – the holiday season of 2013. The organization supplies hot meals to truck drivers who are in search of home-cooked meals on the road. Drivers can receive up to 3 meals in a 6-month period. Meals For 18 Wheels’ Facebook page posts messages of drivers in need of a hot meal and community members volunteer their time and resources to deliver the meals. Meals on 18 Wheels is funded by donations. To learn more or to donate, visit facebook.com/mealsfor18wheels.
Truckers Against Trafficking
Modern-day slavery, or human trafficking, exists when people are bought and sold for forced labor or commercial sex. Around the world, it is estimated that there are over 40 million slaves today. Human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states, and the number of victims in the United States is estimated in the hundreds of thousands.
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is a 501(c)3 that exists to educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking, bus and energy industries to combat human trafficking. To donate to this organization, visit TruckersAgainstTrafficking.org.
Wreaths Across America
More than two million volunteers step up each year to participate in wreath laying ceremonies at cemeteries across the country, where wreaths are placed on the headstones of millions of military veterans. Wreaths Across America has a deep-rooted connection with trucking, as hundreds of companies volunteer trucks, time, and people to haul the wreaths to cemeteries and to participate in the wreath-laying ceremonies. To learn more about how to support this organization or to participate, visit WreathsAcrossAmerica.com.
St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund
The St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund assists truck drivers and their families when financial needs arise due to medical problems. The charity has provided not only aid to thousands of truck drivers, but it also supports their overall health and wellness with programs like free vaccines, smoking cessation programs, partnerships with other resources to help drivers and their families when needs arise.
To learn more or to donate, visit truckersfund.org.
Other ideas for giving back this holiday season
Participate in parades in your local community!
Your company can and should be a highly visible pillar in your community, and there’s no better time to find ways to do that than around the holidays. Actively seek out opportunities to participate in local parades, charities, school functions and other local events. This is an awesome opportunity to instill pride in your company in the community and among your people, as well as to inspire others to want to be in trucking and part of your organization.
Purchase trucking children’s books and give them out as gifts and donations
If you’re looking for a fun gift to give out to friends, family, drivers, or to donate in your local community, consider purchasing How Chris and His Trucks Saved Christmas or Frankie Drives a Freightliner. It’s never too early to start reaching the next generation of truck drivers and to showcase how special our industry is to children and their parents!
Offer VTO and discover new opportunities locally
Empower your people to give back in your own community by providing a few days each year of fully paid Volunteer Time Off, and include a list of organizations where you feel could use your team’s support and energy during those VTO days. Also, check out Deed, which compiles the volunteer and giving opportunities local to your area. Until next time, be safe and well. ~Leah
Think I missed something? Feel free to reach out to me anytime at email@example.com