Hard times are hitting truckers in many ways. Not only are freight rates for many owner operators at a level that is almost impossible to make a living, but they face even greater challenges as they attempt to keep their wheels rolling and stay safe during Covid-19. Can trucking charities come to their rescue?
Just some of the obstacles truck drivers deal with:
Parking, difficulty getting decent food, lack of PPE, not being allowed to use bathroom facilities ( with soap and water) at shippers and receivers, waiting excessive hours at shippers and receivers ( many time without pay). Many drivers are losing their jobs. Many are getting sick while out on the road with inadequate plans to get them home. And some are even found in their trucks deceased. Who is there to help them during these times?
The answer is Truck driver charities, but now they’re in trouble too.
Trucker Charities exist to help drivers during hard times, and Covid-19 has caused some of the most difficult times for these drivers. But Covid-19 is now even affecting the Trucking Charities that help these drivers. They are in trouble folks, and they need help.
The dangers of Covid-19 have caused 2 of the major Trucking Shows to cancel their events, GATS and MATS, as well as other trucking event cancellations.
Trucking charities depend on these shows to raise money to help truckers during devastating times, and now have been devastated themselves by these cancellations.
The Truckers Non Profit Assistance Fund (TAF), a 501c3 charity, recently spoke with the heads of the trucker charities under their umbrella to find out just how badly the pandemic has affected their ability to help truckers.
The following charities are recipients of donations sent to TAF: Truckers Final Mile, St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders – T.E.A.R, TrucksForVets, and the Truckers Christmas Groups.
Truckers Non Profit Assistance Fund was founded by Allen and Donna Smith in order to aid trucking charities who help professional drivers during their most challenging and trying times.
The concept is simple. Donations can be sent to TAF and then these funds are dispersed to the trucking charities under them. Donations can still be made directly to the individual charities, however, many feel that a “one donation to help all” is a convenient way to donate to ALL of their favorite charities.
When we asked the charities how Covid-19 has affected them and their ability to help truckers, here are excerpts of their replies.
Robert Palm of Truckers Final Mile, “ Yes, this pandemic has affected truckersfinalmile.org in many ways.
With MATS, Wildwood, Kenely, the Joplin 44 Jamboree and now GATS cancelling we lost all that walk up donor opportunity, the face to face interaction with current and potential new sponsors, and any awareness of our Mission and need that may have been accomplished through individual visiting and or media coverage.”
Desiree Wood of Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders – T.E.A.R said, “ The 2020 GATS event was going to be the public debut of the Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders to hit the ground running to the trucking industry. Since our mission is aimed at serving truck drivers in various distress situations , need is year round and growing due to the corona virus pandemic and this has put us in jeopardy since we are primarily unfunded at a time when companies are folding left and right, freight rates are causing some drivers to have to walk away from their truck and just find a way home, if they have a home to go to.
We have received a great deal of exposure because of my early blog posts and social media activity to raise awareness that truck drivers need PPE. The exposure has helped us get a good deal of product donations of PPE to distribute to truck drivers which I am doing personally and will continue to do so with volunteers in the coming weeks. While the exposure for T.E.A.R has been great, it has also brought an increased number of costs associated with distribution of this PPE and an increase of requests for help from truck drivers who are beginning to learn about our existence. Unfortunately, we have already had to decline helping because we don’t have the funding available. GATS was going to be an avenue for us to have some one on one meetings….”
Shannon Currier Director of Philanthropy & Development of St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund told us “We are anticipating an influx of applications for a couple of reasons. One, because of COVID-19 and its impact on the driving community and second, because of the additional exposure SCF has been receiving from industry and national publications during this time. With exposure comes increased applications, in general.
MATS and GATS cancelling has definitely thrown us for a loop and is making us evaluate how we might can make up the financial loss and loss of new connections we would normally get from both shows…. we are so grateful for the generosity of every person and company, but we know we still have quite a bit of fundraising to go if we want to meet the need at year-end. Applications have not slowed down and with the anticipated increase, we are hard at work asking for new and increased donations every day.”
Terry Hall of TrucksForVets replied to us “So far the three corporations that were supposed to help us with our venture have all backed out due to the Coronavirus except for the Ryder company, they have stepped up and donated a 2016 Freightliner with a 72-inch sleeper for training. With the coronavirus going around it’s very hard to get to speak to the right people especially to get in front of them to get the one-on-one contact.”
Tom Kyrk of Truckers Christmas Group -TCGO, Because of the virus pandemic, we will miss the opportunity to meet “one on one” with folks sharing our mission to help trucking families in need during the holiday season. TCGO depends on events such as GATS and MATS to build relationships with partner organizations and businesses.
TCGO expects a lot of families in need this year because of Covid-19.
It is at this time of dire need during the Covid-19 pandemic we ask you to please make a donation to these very worthy truck driver charities. Truckers are risking their safety to bring food, PPE, medical supplies, and essential items for us all. Many are limited to basic needs of nourishing food, PPE, and even soap and running water while they do their jobs.
Please DONATE. There is no such thing as “too small” a donation.
Our goal is 1000- $5.00 donations!!
Please Help our Trucking Charities and our Truckers #GivingTuesdayNow