On July 2, the nonprofit organization Trucker Charity Inc. hit the road hauling freight in its effort to raise more funds to help fellow truckers in need of assistance.
OOIDA Member Tony Hamilton of Hartselle, AL, says he has the privilege of driving for the newly created subsidiary of the organization, a one-rig trucking company called TCI Transport.
Hamilton, who also serves as the executive director of public relations for Trucker Charity, admits it’s highly unusual but he’s getting a “real good reception” on the road.
“People love the idea,” he said when he stopped by the Land Line office Aug. 9 en route to St. Louis and New York with a load of elevator parts.
He explained that TCI Transport was formed to continue the mission of Trucker Charity by expanding its educational outreach, as well as providing a steady stream of income for the parent corporation. Hamilton says every dime goes to assist truckers and others in the transportation industry who may find themselves in crisis.
Dubbed “The Charity Truck,” the 2001 Freightliner Columbia was donated to the organization by an unnamed benefactor and has several sponsors. TCI Transport has its own authority, and in less than six weeks Hamilton has logged 10,000 miles.
When Trucker Charity asked him to drive for them, Hamilton was apprehensive because he already had a job.
“I’ve changed my mind totally now,” he said. “I’ve put everything into it.”
No money from the charity is used in the trucking operation.
“Who runs the trucking company? Well, we do,” says Hamilton. “In our Trucker Charity group, we are all truckers and bring a lot of experience to the table, like about 200-300 years experience between us. Everyone in the organization uses something from their past, some skill we have acquired.”
He likens it to making a big sandwich. “Everybody’s bringing something to put in it.”
TCI Transport’s parent company, Trucker Charity, is a 501 (c)(3) that was formed in 2009. OOIDA Life Member Lance Wood of Summerfield, IL, is the group’s president. OOIDA Member Kerry Mullins, West Lafayette, IN, is secretary.
Hamilton, who has 31 years experience trucking, became involved with Trucker Charity through his work with Operation Roger, a group of volunteer truckers who rescue and transport pets.
Truckers Charity, he says, is truckers helping truckers.
“Our motto is ‘get ’em safe, get ’em fed, get ’em home’ and that’s what we do.”
The varied experiences of the group’s members allow Trucker Charity to offer services such as emergency assistance, life coaching, mentoring, “chrome alert” (for missing drivers), last ride home and more. They buy plane tickets, bus tickets, food, hotel rooms to help stranded drivers. They also have a Christmas group that raises funds for needy truckers.
Donations can be made via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org, by credit card at 888-523-0087, or by sending a check or money order to Trucker Charity Inc., P.O. Box 276, Summerfield, IL 62289. The organization also accepts donations of hard assets such as cars and trucks.