With the first half of 2020 behind us, the second half of the year still holds uncertainty. Will schools re-open? Will parents be able to get back to work? Will kids finally be able to play with their friends? While these daunting questions still don't have answers, there are some things we know for sure: the trucking industry will not stop being a source of strength, positivity and commitment to its community. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.
Penske supports Old Navy with $3M donation to Baby2Baby nonprofit
Baby2Baby, a national nonprofit that provides basic essentials to children living in poverty, has received a $3 million clothing donation from Old Navy to distribute children’s clothing to the Baby2Baby National Network with the help from Penske Logistics.
Baby2Baby required a newly designed transportation network to distribute the 600,000 units of clothing, so Penske Logistics agreed to pick up the donations from Old Navy facilities and deliver them directly to members of the Baby2Baby National Network across the country.
According to Penske Logistics President Marc Althen, Penske helped design a new network to pick up donated merchandise from Old Navy distribution centers and retail stores.
“We are very pleased to support the Baby2Baby National Network by providing dedicated contract carriage solutions to aid families around the country during this difficult time,” explained Althen.
In the last 17 weeks, Baby2Baby has also distributed over 25 million basic essentials including diapers, formula, soap, shampoo, baby food and more to some of the most vulnerable children across the country impacted by COVID-19.
“The need for basic essentials is higher than ever for the families Baby2Baby serves,” explained Baby2Baby co-presidents Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein. “They were struggling before the COVID-19 crisis, and now they are struggling even more because of millions of lost jobs, empty shelves and increased lack of access to these critical items.
"Clothing is one of the most basic necessities and when we can give it to families living in poverty, they can spend their extremely limited funds on food and rent,” Patricof and Weinstein added. “We are so grateful to Penske Logistics and Old Navy for helping us put clothing into the hands of hundreds of thousands of children across the country."
Alabama Trucking Association delivers an 'egg-cellent' donation across the state
On July 10, Cal-Maine Foods donated 280,800 eggs to the Feeding America Food Banks and other organizations throughout Alabama to help families across the state that have been affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to thank Cal-Maine Foods, out of Baldwin County, for the generous donation of 23,400 dozen table eggs and Mark Colson of the Alabama Trucking Association for delivering the eggs. This donation will improve the lives of many Alabamians struggling during the pandemic,” said Rick Pate, agriculture and industries commissioner. “To have the Alabama Trucking Association quickly agree to provide transportation for the delivery was gratifying.”
The Montgomery Area Food Bank, whose mission is to do everything possible to combat hunger and food insecurity in 35 of Alabama's 67 counties through a framework of philanthropic, logistic and educational programs, facilitated the donation.
“We support our communities and are proud to have been in business in Alabama for many years,” said Wil Webb, vice president of Cal-Maine. “We are enormously honored to contribute back to the communities that our employees call home.”
AmazonSmile for T.E.A.R.
AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.
Desiree Wood, president of Real Women in Trucking, shared that the community can help its truck drivers by connecting their Amazon Prime account to the Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders (T.E.A.R.), a nonprofit organization built to serve truck drivers in immediate distress with short-term assistance to get home or to a safe haven.
Watch the video below from ABC News on how T.E.A.R. has been tackling the coronavirus pandemic these past several months.
OOIDA’s Spirit of the American Trucker tour trailer distributes masks
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association's (OOIDA) tour trailer, the Spirit of the American Trucker, or Spirit, will be distributing roughly 12,500 masks at its stops throughout the country throughout the next week. With its first stops on July 15-16 at the Petro in Rochelle, Ill., off Interstate 39, the Spirit is scheduled to be at the Petro in Gary Ind., from July 17-20 and at the Petro in Monee, Ill., from July 21-22.
In addition to the masks from OOIDA, millions were mailed to truck and bus companies and rest areas across the country to help get face masks and other PPE to truck drivers in need.
“Every day they are exposed to COVID-19 because of the critical service they provide for all of us,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA president and CEO. “They run in and out of the hot zones, and without question, they are exposed.”
Truckers also can acquire masks at OOIDA’s headquarters in Grain Valley, Mo.
UPS driver creates socially distant fun for neighborhood kids
In a tweet on July 16, father TJ Budd shared how his local UPS driver helps make some fun for his two children with a video of his son “racing” the driver on his tricycle on the neighborhood sidewalk.
Budd said, “Sometimes it’s just the little things you can do to put a smile on someone’s face.”
We couldn’t agree more, Budd.
Check out the video below.