Last year, I started this blog to shine a light on the good things happening in the world to break through the darkness that plagued our screens. Today is no exception. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tragic shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility that occurred late last night. While the trucking industry is shrouded in darkness, I hope you can still find the light. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.
TA Services pledges monthly support to fight childhood hunger
TA Services has pledged monthly support to Blessings in a Backpack to help provide hunger-free weekends to children who struggle with access to food and will help Blessings in a Backpack distribute healthy food to some of the estimated 11 million food-insecure children in the United States.
Blessings in a Backpack fed 88,900 children in the fall of 2020 at more than 1,090 schools nationwide, striving to ensure that elementary school children across America do not go hungry on the weekends. A donation of only $130 feeds one child on the weekends for a 38-week school year, resulting in nourished kids ready to learn.
“The TA Services team cares deeply for the communities in which we live and work,” said Scott Schell, President and CEO, TA Services. “The economic effects of the pandemic have left a growing number of children in the United States without access to healthy meals. We want to do our part – and encourage others in the community – to help combat childhood hunger and give children the best chances for a promising future.”
Revolution Trucking CEO receives life saving kidney from co-worker and friend
“Nothing is more important than your health,” said James Adams, CEO of Revolution Trucking. “When you are seriously ill, nothing else matters.”
Adams was born with one kidney, and his high blood pressure wore the kidney out by the time he was 45 years old. He developed End Stage Renal Failure and was in and out of the ICU and receiving hemodialysis five times per week.
After five years of treatment, Adams health declined quickly. “I was no longer making red blood cells, which resulted in needing a blood transfusion every three months,” Adams explained. “My quality of life was terrible. My life became meaningless. That's a hard pill to swallow as the CEO of a fast-growing logistics company.”
Throughout his illness, Adams was on the transplant list with Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals in Northeast Ohio, patiently waiting for a donor. Luckily for Adams, his prayers were answered this past Christmas by friend and co-worker Steve Fracasso, who got tested unbeknownst to Adams, and was a match.
“He told me on Christmas,” Adams said. “The best gift I've ever received. Steve has been a friend for nearly 10 years. Not only is he one of our most dedicated and hardworking team members, but he is magnanimous and courageous. What he did is beyond words. He saved my life.”
After a successful surgery on St. Patrick's Day, both Adams and Fracasso are healthy and happy.
“I'm a new man with a second chance at life. I'm now ready to conquer the world,” said Adams. “Where once my dreams were dead, I now value every day, hour, and minute of my life.”
Two school buses repurposed as hygiene stations for New Jersey homeless
Two school buses are being outfitted to provide hygiene services for women experiencing homelessness in Jersey City, N.J., according to the South Bend Tribune.
Both of the buses, bought from Illinois Central School Bus, will have restrooms and showers installed, as well as a washer and dryer for visitors to do laundry. There will also be a lounge area added, said Bob Earley, the company’s director of sales and marketing at Diamond Trailers/Specialty Vehicles.
According to Earley, Diamond Trailers/Specialty Vehicles, based out of Middlebury, Ind., was approached by the city earlier in the year about taking on the project.
“Diamond Trailers/Specialty Vehicles was humbled by the request,” Early said. “The staff expects to deliver the finished buses by the middle of April.
“Those who use the services will be able to leave the bus refreshed and proud of who they are,” Earley added. “It will have some semblance of the comforts of home.”
Earley continued that the bus hygiene stations will be moved to different locations across the city as needed, and that they will be designed to function with or without access to city utilities, including water and sewer.
While this endeavor is currently limited to Jersey City, Earley remarked that wouldn’t be surprised if other cities were inspired to pursue similar projects.
“We’re all part of the same small world,” he said. “Some people are homeless for reasons beyond their control.”
Trucking Hall of Fame opens in Kansas City
The American Trucking and Industry Leader Hall of Fame (ATIL Hall of Fame) is the new home for existing Industry Achievement Awards programs and a place to recognize industry leaders and icons.
As The American Truck Historical Society (ATHS) celebrates their 50th year, of preserving the history of trucks, the trucking industry, and its pioneers, the ATIL Hall of Fame will be the destination for trucking industry members and their families, as well as the public, to celebrate major transport industry contributors and award winners.
“There are various awards programs out there,” Chairman Tom Mullen said. “We want those awards programs, their winners, and industry leaders to be known forever, easily found, and honored all in one trucking industry center.”
The ATIL Hall of Fame is built around honoring all industry awards and safety recognition programs, including the well-established ATHS Awards program, and is set to grow through the inclusion of the whole trucking industry. The ATIL Hall of Fame can now invite all company and industry awards programs to display their programs as part of the overall trucking industry experience, alongside the ATHS Visitors Center and the world-renown Zoe James Memorial Library.
“For too long trucking professionals have been receiving prestigious awards, only to then be forgotten,” said Laurence Gration, executive director of the ATIL Hall of Fame. “The ATIL Hall of Fame will allow proper recognition to continue and expand the awareness of the excellent work trucking professionals do as they contribute daily to our society.”
CHS grant helps Twin Cities nonprofit provide supplies for those in need
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, a nonprofit organization that provides food, clothing and youth services to those in need in the historic Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul, Minn., was one of four Twin Cities organizations recently selected to receive a $5,000 Backyard Giving Grant from CHS.
The Backyard Giving Grant program provides support to Minnesota organizations in Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties that are meeting community needs for food security, housing, education and urban agriculture.
“We refer to our services as a food store, not a food shelf,” said Dawn Selle, development director at Hallie Q. Brown. “We get to know our clients personally and provide them with choices to help remove the stigma of needing food support. For example, Mr. Smith only likes Adam and Eve apple juice, and 4-year-old Sally lives with six adults, so we got her an old iPad so she can watch kids shows”
The community center staff remembers personal details about the more than 100 individuals and families they serve each day. Despite seeing a 4,000% increase in requested services since the pandemic started, staff and volunteers have made it their mission to maintain strong connections with the clients they serve. Last year, the organization added an online order form. Like Instacart or other online grocery services, clients can select items and sign up for a pick-up time.
“Some of our clients don’t have internet access or transportation,” said Selle. “For those folks, we’ve been able to take phone orders and use volunteers for delivery. We do whatever we can to be the lighthouse in the community and help anyone who needs it.”