Photo: Bendix
Bendix Blankets To Cleveland Clinic Primary Image

Five good things that happened in trucking this week–May 21

May 21, 2021
Sneak peek: NYC DCAS and Together for Safer Roads announce new safety award, Bendix makes and delivers handmade blankets to children at the Cleveland Clinic, Women In Trucking launches “I Am Essential” 2021 Photo Contest, and more.

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference,” Tom Brokaw once said on the topic of giving back. For the trucking industry, giving back has become second nature. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week.

NYC DCAS, Together for Safer Roads announce new award in honor of late safety advocate

The New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and Together for Safer Roads, a coalition of global private sector companies dedicated to preventing road crashes, announced the creation of the Lenin Fierro Vision Zero Fleet Advocacy Award and its first recipient. 

The award was named for the late Lenin Fierro, a former DCAS employee and long-time champion for fleet safety, who died of COVID-19 in March 2020 at 42 years old, leaving behind a wife and two daughters. In his honor, the award will be presented annually to an individual who has the leadership, positivity, commitment, approachability, and personal dedication to transforming organizations towards the goals of Vision Zero. 

“Lenin Fierro was an extraordinary public servant,” Keith Kerman, NYC chief fleet officer and DCAS deputy commissioner for fleet management, said. “A ten-year U.S. Navy veteran, he joined NYC government and immediately became a leader in Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero Safety initiative. Lenin pushed safety in public and in private, always challenging us to do better. He was the voice of safety for our fleet operators. This award is a tribute to his legacy.” 

The inaugural award was presented at the Global Vision Zero Conference on May 19 to Nigel Reid, the director of transportation at City Harvest. Reid, oversees City Harvest’s fleet and drivers and is responsible for ensuring they can safely and efficiently rescue 30 million lb. of locally sourced food and deliver it to a network of 400 soup kitchens, food pantries, and other emergency food providers across the five boroughs of New York City. He is also responsible for the safety of City Harvest’s drivers and works to ensure they have the tools, equipment, and support they need in order to succeed. 

"Nigel and the entire transportation team at City Harvest are the backbone of the organization," Jilly Stephens, CEO of City Harvest, said. "They help rescue and deliver tens of millions of pounds of food every year for to help feed our neighbors across New York City who need help putting meals on the table. With the surge in the number of New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity over the past year because of COVID-19, the work that Nigel and the drivers do has never been more important to more of our neighbors."

“Every day, City Harvest’s food rescue trucks are on the streets of New York City rescuing and delivering food for New Yorkers who need help putting meals on their tables,” Nigel Reid, director of transportation at City Harvest. “It is crucial that we are as safe and secure as possible while we operate around this very busy city. I am honored to be the first recipient of the Lenin Fierro Vision Zero Fleet Advocacy Award in his memory and honor.” 

Bendix partners with Fleece & Thank You to make, deliver handmade blankets to hospitalized children in Cleveland

Earlier this year, Bendix partnered with Fleece & Thank You, a Farmington Hills, Michigan-based community service organization, to make and deliver handmade fleece blankets to children at the Cleveland Clinic.

The virtual blanket-making event took place in February, when employees from multiple Bendix locations made 184 hand tied fleece blankets from the comfort of their own homes. The majority of the handmade blankets were shipped back to Bendix’s Elyria, Ohio headquarters at the end of the month, and the blankets were delivered to the Cleveland Clinic in March, for distribution by its Child Life team to hospitalized children.

“What’s unique about Fleece & Thank You is that their efforts are all about connecting recipients with volunteers through an expression of thanks,” said Maria Gutierrez, Bendix director of corporate responsibility and sustainability. “Ultimately this was a big reason for the project’s success. Employees across locations also had the opportunity to connect by taking part in a new service activity, together.”

Every blanket Fleece & Thank You provides includes a personal video message attached to it from the blanket-maker to the recipient in the hospital, who can then send a thank-you message back to the maker.

“Due to the pandemic, Fleece & Thank You has had to postpone or cancel its large-scale blanket-making events, which meant fewer comforting blankets for children who are hospitalized,” Nicholas Kristock, founder and executive director of Fleece & Thank You, said. “Thankfully, individuals, community groups, and corporations, including Bendix, have stepped up to host virtual events, creating these blankets from the safety and comfort of their own homes. The need for comfort is everywhere, especially in these times, so it’s wonderful to see how our mission can be expanded to help children in Cleveland.”

Women In Trucking launches “I Am Essential” 2021 Photo Contest

While the past year has been challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has emphasized the critical importance of the transportation industry. That’s why the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) has dubbed their 2021 Photo Contest with the theme, “I am Essential,” to unify the countless other essential workers that make up the trucking industry.  

WIT urges those who submit to be creative by using posters, t-shirts, stickers, signs, balloons, etc., reminding those to be sensitive to COVID-19 restrictions through the use of masks and social distancing.

The submission period for the 2021 Photo Contest runs from June 14-July 2, and all entries must also include a truck.

Bestpass joins fight against diabetes

Bestpass has partnered with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) on an initiative to give back to the community while also encouraging healthy activities among employees, customers and partners.

The initiative, spearheaded by the Bestpass Gives committee, will culminate in the virtual 2021 Tour de Cure ride on June 12 with more than 40 people participating on the team. Throughout the effort, Bestpass will highlight employees and drivers who are focused on improving their health, including on social media and in newsletters.

“We are grateful to Bestpass for joining our efforts to raise much needed funds for diabetes education and research in this year’s virtual Tour de Cure across upstate New York,” Jeff Collins, executive director of ADA Upstate New York, said. “In addition to supporting a great cause, Bestpass is actively working to improve the health and wellness of their employees and corporate partners. We’re proud to partner with them.”

Bestpass Gives, an employee-led committee within the company, is responsible for identifying opportunities to contribute to the community in a meaningful way while also building relationships across functional teams. The committee identified raising awareness of diabetes as its focus for the second quarter of 2021.

“With some studies showing that there is a 50 percent higher occurrence of diabetes for professional truckers than the overall national average, the American Diabetes Association and its good work is a natural fit for our community efforts,” Tom Fogarty, CEO of Bestpass, said. “We value our customers tremendously, and we want them to be healthy, so anything we can do to support that goal is tremendously rewarding.”

UPS driver drops off packages, buckets

As we head into the weekend, I’ll leave you with a lighthearted game of neighborhood basketball featuring a local delivery driver.

In a video posted on Barstool Sports’ Instagram, three boys were shooting hoops in a driveway. While making his deliveries, a nearby UPS driver joins in for one shot.

Watch his victory in the video below. 

About the Author

Catharine Conway | Digital Editor

Catharine Conway previously wrote for FleetOwner with a Master of Science in Publishing degree and more than seven years’ experience in the publishing and editorial industries. Based in Stamford, Conn., she was critical to the coordination of any and all digital content organization and distribution through various FleetOwner and American Trucker channels, including website, newsletters, and social media. 

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