Trucking companies help brighten holidays of others

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Trucking companies and organizations nationwide are helping communities through volunteering and making donations this holiday season.

Minnesota trucking organizations have been collecting toys for the annual Trucks & Toys campaign.

The campaign was started by the Minnesota Trucking Association, which oversees the annual drive. The association’s safety counsel created the program about 20 years ago. They collect monetary donations, which is used to purchase toys, and donations of toys. This year, they collected about 3,500 toys.

Volunteers load trucks with toys for the Trucks & Toys campaign in Minnesota. (Image Courtesy of Minnesota Trucking Association)Volunteers load trucks with toys for the Trucks & Toys campaign in Minnesota. (Image Courtesy of Minnesota Trucking Association)

Kelly Snyder, MTA’s manager of marketing communications, said it takes an army of volunteers to make it possible.

“They love being involved and I think the most benefit people get out of it is volunteering with us, that’s where we get the most feedback,” Snyder said. 

The toys are distributed throughout the state with the help of trucking companies and volunteers.

Marlene Shamblin works in the safety department for Kottke Trucking, Inc., of Buffalo, Minnesota. She organizes the carrier’s Trucks & Toys campaign efforts.

The donations raised by Kottke are distributed through 17 counties in Minnesota. Kottke joined the program almost 20 years ago, and has participated every year since. Shamblin said their drivers look forward to making the campaign successful each year.

“I would say the response is absolutely awesome from all of our drivers. They just get really excited and interested and involved, willing to donate whatever,” Shamblin said.

Kottke ended up, with cash and donations, $4,033 dollars raised and Kottke donated an additional $1,000. In total, the company raised $5,033 in toys and cash.

Other trucking organizations in other states are also helping their local communities during the holidays.

  • Trinity Logistics, in Seaford, Delaware, is working with local charities through its Trinity Christmas Families program to provide gifts and essentials to seven families in need. 
  • TransLand, out of Springfield, Missouri, is a annual sponsor for the Dallas County Toys for Tots motorcycle toy run. It is also donating time and equipment to help transport over 14,00o toys to children in the Greene County area. The company has adopted a family this year, as well. It will donate gifts, household items, and food to the family for Christmas.
  • Bestpass partners in New York partners each year with the Trucking Association of New York to sponsor a local family in need for the holidays. Bestpass employees will also volunteer wit the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
  • Dart Transit Company, a carrier based in Eagan, Minnesota, partnered with Toys for Tots.
  • Contract Freighters, Inc., based in Joplin, Missouri, raises funds yearly for its Truckload of Treasures program. The company and its employees have donated more than $745,000 to local charities since the program began in 1993.
  • Stewart Transport, in Phoenix, is partnering with Imagine East Mesa, a local school, to support homeless families.
  • Back in Minnesota, Otto Transfer, Inc, of Delano, has 19 drivers and 25 total employees participating in “Stop for Safety Day.” They will build six bikes for local children whose families cannot afford to buy one. The children asked for the bikes for Christmas.
  • National Carriers, Inc., of Irving, Texas, supports The Family Place, a Dallas charity helping victims of family violence.
  • FedFex Freight held its 12th annual Trees for Troops program, delivering over 18,000 Christmas trees to U.S. troops at 65 bases in 17 countries. 
  • Hill Brothers Transportation, Inc., of Omaha, Nebraska, is helping “Operation Others” with its transportation and storage needs. It will gather and deliver over 800 meals for families in need. Hill Brothers Transportation, Inc. also delivers food and books to homes that Omaha Public Schools teachers have flagged as being in need.
  • Pottle’s Transportation, out of Bangor, Maine, is gathering donations for the Furry Friends Food Bank to help local animals. It is also participating in the Anah Shrine Temple’s “Fez”tival of Trees.
  • XPO Logistics, in Akron, Ohio, helped deliver hundreds of new bicycles to underprivileged communities in Akron, Norton and East Cleveland. About 1,100 bikes were distributed.