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.