The holiday season can be described in many ways: celebrating religious holidays, cooking big, elaborate meals, families and communities coming together to feel that sense of unity and joy. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrating the holiday season this year is different than usual.
So, before we get into the good things that happened this week, I wanted to spread the word about a parade happening in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 28 for 4-year-old Raiden Gonzalez, who has become an orphan due to COVID-19. Gonzalez’s father was a cement truck driver, and his mother was a teacher at a daycare center. To celebrate his upcoming birthday on Nov. 22, Gonzalez’s great-aunt has organized a “wave and roar” dinosaur-themed drive-by parade. So far, the local fire department, a Batman entertainer, several truck clubs, motorcycle clubs and classic car clubs are all due to participate. If you’re in, or near, the Houston area, consider driving through and spreading some joy this holiday season.
Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.
UPS partners with 8-year-old’s bow tie business for holiday toy drive
Eight-year-old Treandos Thornton, founder of T&N Bow Ties and Apparel, got inspired one evening when watching a television commercial about people not having food. When he asked his mother why the people on the television were crying, she explained that there are people out there that are less fortunate than he.
Motivated, Thornton started a toy and food drive because he sees the future of his business in helping people less fortunate than him. With the help of United Food Force, a non-profit food bank in Georgia, Thornton started to give back.
“We currently give away a million pounds of food a month,” said Vance McCutcheon of United Food Force. “In Georgia, we know there are at least 1.3 million people annually who suffer from food insecurity – 400,000 of those are children. We were blessed with Treandos’ spark to do the right thing and help the community, so we got together and started collaborating on having barrels set up at locations so that way we could collect food – whatever we needed to for families in need.”
UPS joined T&N Bow Ties and Apparel to help spread awareness about food insecurity by not only wearing Thornton’s bow ties, but the company also donated a truck load of toys and food to the drive. All day Nov. 20., UPS drivers will be wearing golden bow ties from Trenton's business to spread the word and inspire others to donate to their local foodbank.
Watch the video here for a look at UPS’ partnership with T&N Bow Ties and United Food Force.
Operation Homefront’s Holiday Meals for Military event in Nebraska
Operation Homefront is a nonprofit working to build strong, stable, secure military families so they can thrive in the communities they have worked hard to protect.
To help those families prepare for the holidays, Operation Homefront held a Holiday Meals for Military event. Families in Omaha, Neb. went home with a bag of dry goods, a Walmart gift card and products from Procter and Gamble.
FedEx drivers are ready for the holiday season
FedEx drivers went viral this week on multiple social media platforms, spreading some holiday cheer before they hit the road.
Dancing to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” FedEx “team members are holiday ready!” according to FedEx’s Twitter.
Watch the drivers bust a move below.
Mack Trucks donates $20,000 to Fisher House Foundation
Mack Defense has entered a multi-year partnership with Fisher House Foundation in which proceeds from the Mack Anthem Digi Camo diecast model sales will be donated to the nonprofit serving military and veterans families. Mack will donate $20,000 this year for sales in 2019 and 2020 and will contribute up to $10,000 more next year as sales continue.
Fisher House Foundation builds comfort houses near military and Veterans Administration hospitals where military and veteran families can stay free of charge while a loved one is in the hospital. Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles program, which utilizes donated frequent flyer miles to fly family members to their injured loved one, and the Hotels for Heroes program, using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay near their loved one in a hotel for free.
“Mack Defense is committed to supporting those in the military and our veterans in any way we can to acknowledge their unwavering commitment to help protect and serve our country and its citizens,” said David Hartzell, president, Mack Defense. “We are proud to be able to donate to Fisher House Foundation proceeds from sales of our military-inspired Mack Anthem diecast model.”
Walmart driver rings the bell after last chemo treatment
This year has been challenging for millions of Americans due to COVID-19. But John Lex, a commercial truck driver for Walmart, has been fighting his own battle with cancer for the past six months during this pandemic.
Lex went viral this week with a heartfelt thank you to his doctors as well as his trucking family as he rang the bell to celebrate his last day of chemotherapy.
Grab your tissues for this one and watch Lex ring the bell below.