We trust you survived the shopping chaos of last week's Black Friday and maybe spent your holiday dollars closer to home on Shop Local Saturday.
Today the focus of many Christmas shoppers switches to the internet for what has come to be known as Cyber Monday.
But, tomorrow may be the most significant day of the beginning of the holiday shopping season when there is no shopping at all. Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, a time to push the spending pendulum in the opposite direction and focus on donating to charities.
Fortunately for those in need this time of year, there are a number of organizations dedicated to helping truckers and their families.
If you are among those truckers who may be in need of a hand this year, one of these charities could be a lifeline. Or, if you're a trucker who's able to donate, you can rest assured these organizations -- many of them created and run by truckers -- will benefit drivers who may be having some tough times.
This is the time of year this trucker-created non-profit shines.
Since its founding in 2008, this group organized and operated by truckers, has raised more than $167,000 to brighten the Christmases of some 266 trucking families. In addition to accepting donations, the group operates an online store where folks can purchase products that have been donated by sponsors. The proceeds of the sales and donations are used to provide Christmas gifts for the families of truckers who have been disqualified from driving because of some health reason.
Families nominated to receive support are reviewed and those selected have gifts delivered.
This non-profit may be the largest organization aiding truckers in many ways.
The St. Christopher Fund helps truckers who may be out of work because of injury or illness. The fund helps truck families cover major monthly expenses, like mortgage, utilities, vehicle payments, and insurance.
But more than that, the St. Christopher Fund also has a variety of services and programs to help improve the lives of truckers. These include smoking cessation, cancer screening, diabetes prevention, and counseling services.
T.E.A.R.'s motto is, "We step up when they step back." In practice, this charity, founded by three women drivers, comes to the aid of truckers who may have, for whatever reason, been abandoned by their carrier. T.E.A.R. volunteers help ensure the driver in need gets home with their belongings and their pets if they have any riding along.
In addition to making financial contributions, drivers and others can volunteer to help T.E.A.R. accomplish its mission of making sure no trucker is left alone in their time of need.
Founded almost 10 years ago, this organization helps out truckers and/or their families in times of what may be their greatest need.
Truckers Final Mile helps trucker families whose loved one may have died while on the road, or been affected by an unexpected illness, or were injured far away from home. The charity can help cover hotel and travel expenses for an injured driver or assist with funeral arrangements for a trucker who died while driving.
No trucker should go hungry, and this volunteer organization makes sure of that.
This is a simple process. A driver in need of a meal but has no money can contact the charity with their location. Then, Meals for 18 Wheels puts out a call to people in the driver's vicinity who are willing to make a meal and deliver it to the driver in need.
Meals for 18 Wheels also makes sure that pets traveling with the driver in need also get fed.
There also are trucker-related charities worth supporting on Giving Tuesday.
This innovative program connects truck drivers with teachers and school classrooms to promote literacy and cultural exchange. Truck drivers can exchange letters and photos with their “pen pals” and even visit the schools in person. students learn not just about trucking, but also valuable geography lessons as drivers share notes from the road.
Operation Roger helps transport lost pets and deliver those saved from shelters who are on their way to their forever homes. The pets ride along with the truck driver to their destination. The group is always looking for drivers to participate. To donate, participate or simply learn more about Operation Roger, visit the organization online.