OOIDA's 'Truckers For Troops' expands its mission

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line associate editor

Thanks to generous support over the past eight years, OOIDA's "Truckers For Troops" campaign will be expanding its mission to include providing for injured veterans stateside as well as abroad.

Care packages will continue to be sent to any troops in "hot zones" overseas upon request, and the Association will continue to seek addresses to do so. But in addition to that mission, OOIDA will start an effort to supply needed items to various medical care facilities for wounded veterans at home.

OOIDA's annual Truckers for Troops campaign to raise money for care packages to send to U.S. troops in overseas combat zones begins Monday, Nov. 9, and will run through Veterans Day, concluding Friday, Nov. 13.

There are other ways to participate, too. You can also renew or join online during the weeklong event. Visit OOIDA.com and click on the Join/Renew button on the home page. If you prefer to mail in your donation, note dues and/or donation and "Troops" on the memo line of your check. All memberships and renewals postmarked during the event will be counted toward the 10 percent match total.

During Truckers for Troops week, a telethon broadcast is planned for each day on OOIDA's "Land Line Now" satellite radio show on Sirius XM's Road Dog Channel. During that week, truckers can join OOIDA or renew their membership for $35, with 10 percent of that money going toward care packages for U.S. troops stationed in combat areas overseas. OOIDA matches the 10 percent dollar for dollar.

Another change for this year's event will be the "swag" available on OOIDA's "Spirit of the American Trucker" tour truck. Those who renew their membership with Jon Osburn at "The Spirit" truck will receive Truckers for Troops T-shirts, instead of baseball caps.

Shell Rotella is once again sponsoring Truckers for Troops and has already pledged $2,000 to this year's event.

In eight years, the Truckers for Troops effort has raised more than $450,000, enabling the Association to send more than 2,500 care packages to nearly 30,000 military personnel. The care packages have been known to weigh as much as 70 pounds each and contain everything from necessities such as socks to fun stuff like Silly String.

All calls to join or renew membership up until the start of business Monday, Nov. 16, will count toward the telethon totals.

The Association is also soliciting handmade cards and letters from children to be included in the care packages. Children should sign the cards with their first name only and hometown if they choose. Truckers are also encouraged to write letters to send to our military personnel.

The cards and letters can be sent to Norita Taylor at OOIDA.

OOIDA is also asking for the names and addresses of troops serving in active combat zones to send packages to. Call the name and address in to Nikki Johnson at OOIDA at 816-229-5791. You can also e-mail her at troops@ooida.com.

Those zones include Afghanistan, the Kosovo area of former Yugoslavia, and the Arabian Peninsula Areas, including the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, part of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. LL