OOIDA member named April Trucker Buddy of the Month

| Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Every Trucker Buddy is special, but some drivers just beam when they talk about the children who correspond with them. OOIDA member Billy Vaughn is one of those drivers.

Vaughn was recently named Trucker Buddy of the month for April by Trucker Buddy International, the organization that runs the program.

Whether he’s telling you about eating beets in the school cafeteria or how the students run to hug him when he visits, his face just glows. Vaughn is dedicated to his young friends at Morningside Elementary School in Albany, GA.

The second-grade students think he’s pretty special, too.

“He has been so nice to us,” writes one student. “He acts like he loves us, and we are his best friends. He is our closest friend.”

Vaughn makes each child feel special, and his post cards are informative and entertaining.

“Mr. Vaughn takes the time to write detailed descriptions of his travels,” writes Ms. Fournier, the students' teacher. “He brings geography to life as he encourages us to follow his travels on our classroom map.”

When Vaughn visits his class, he brings cookies for the children and allows them to see the inside of his truck.

Vaughn’s big heart extends to more than his class. When the second graders asked him why his hair was so long, he told them that he was growing it out so he could donate it for wigs for children suffering from cancer. His concern for children is evident in the way he encourages the children to learn by studying hard and doing well in their schoolwork.

Vaughn is a company driver for Trailer Bridge, based in his hometown of Jacksonville, FL. He is one of more than 4,000 drivers who share their time with more than 4,400 elementary classes throughout the world.

The need for drivers grows as teachers continue to wait for a Trucker Buddy to correspond with their classes. The only criteria to be a Trucker Buddy is to be a professional driver and to be willing to send a post card each week or two to a designated class. Drivers can apply on line at www.truckerbuddy.org or by calling 1-800-MY BUDDY.

Billy will receive a personalized jacket, a check for $300 to spend on his second-grade class and $200 in Trucker Buddy merchandise, compliments of TMI-MultiMedia. The class will receive a CrossCountry USA game from Ingenuity Works, which will help them learn more about how trucks move freight across the nation.

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