In such a challenged trucking economy, who thought the 2008 Truckers for Troops Telethon would exceed the incredible efforts of 2007? But the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has announced the results for the Truckers for Troops Telethon 2008, and the event netted nearly $10,000 more than 2007.
“I just think it’s fantastic. To think that as tough as times are this year and that we surpassed last year in collections for the troops is outstanding,” said OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston. “It just makes me more and more proud of the people we represent.”
OOIDA is the national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. It announced Monday, Dec. 22, that the goal to send care packages that will deliver gift items to more than 2,000 troops has been met, with more than $54,000 raised.
The Association conducted the campaign Dec. 8-12 to raise funds to send care packages to troops in combat areas overseas. The final count as of today is $54, 567.
“The results speak volumes about our members and how they feel about supporting the troops,” says Norita Taylor, media spokesperson for OOIDA. “However, we now need to focus on finding more of those in need of care packages.”
Last year, the Association relied upon word of mouth to collect names and addresses of units in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.
During the week of the telethon, 10 percent of discounted renewal and new membership fees were matched by the Association. Memberships will continue to be discounted from $45 to $25 through the end of January 2008, but the matching for the telethon has been completed.
Additional donations are of course still welcome until the end of December. Shipping will take place in mid-January by OOIDA volunteers who will arrange and coordinate sending the packages.
This year’s telethon is the second year in a row that OOIDA conducted such an effort. Land Line Now, the Association’s official radio show on XM Satellite Radio 171, promoted the telethon during its regularly scheduled broadcasts. Land Line Now is America’s first daily one-hour news program produced exclusively for the professional truck driver. The show is created every day at OOIDA headquarters.
Recipients of last year’s packages were able to talk on the show and share the reactions seen on the other end.
Other radio shows popular with truckers also helped promote the campaign by having OOIDA individuals as guests on their shows. The hosts of those shows included Dale Sommers (known as “Truckin Bozo”), Rollye James, Dave Nemo, Steve Sommers and Evan Lockridge as well as Mark Willis and Elizabeth Walsh.
For more information, visit www.landlinenow.com or www.ooida.com or www.landlinemag.com.