“It’s too soon to tell how we stack up against last year, but even if we don’t top that amount, we for sure have a successful year,” said OOIDA Spokesman Norita Taylor. “Incoming calls were higher than last year and so it’s hopeful that we had a significant increase.”
Taylor is the media spokesperson for OOIDA, and she is talking about the Association’s Truckers for Troops telethon. In its first two years the popular telethon has raised more than $97,000 to go toward care packages for members of the armed forces serving in active duty overseas. The 2008 telethon raised enough to provide care packages for more than 3,900 service members, and the goal for the 2009 telethon was to raise enough money to match that.
All week, OOIDA’s radio show, Land Line Now, has been promoting the telethon during its regularly scheduled broadcasts. The show airs on XM 171 and Sirius 147 at 7 p.m. Eastern time, with an encore broadcast at midnight Eastern.
During the week of the telethon, Dec. 7-11, truckers have been able to join OOIDA or renew their memberships for $25. Ten percent of that is going toward purchasing and shipping care packages overseas. The Association has vowed to match the 10 percent dollar for dollar during the week of the telethon.
But Friday wasn’t really the last day to get the good deal on membership or to donate.
“Callers can continue to call right up until 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 14,” said Land Line Now host Mark Reddig, “so truckers have all weekend to get in on the telethon.”
Here’s how you can do it. After business hours, call 800-444-5791. If you get our automated system, press 1; leave your name and phone number, and we’ll call you back.
You can also take part online by sending your dues and donation to OOIDA Truckers for Troops, P.O. Box 1000, Grain Valley, MO 64029; be sure to make your check out to “Troops, dues and donation” or “Troops, donation only.”
Or join online here – just put the word “troops” in the space for promo code.
Plus, you can still participate in the campaign simply by joining the Association or renewing your membership.
We keep the party going as long as possible and through Jan. 31, 2010, mention the Truckers for Troops and your dues will be discounted from $45 to $25. Or you can simply make a donation anytime.
Boxes start going overseas in January and continue to ship out through early summer.
“Last year we continued to get donations so we even had one box go to the troops in July,” said Reddig.
Some of the items included in the care packages sent in past years were self-heating coffees, socks and personal care items. Among the most popular were the handmade greeting cards.
Earlier this year, OOIDA partnered with country singer and OOIDA member Leland Martin to raise funds for Truckers for Troops. A portion of the sales of his CD “Truckers for Troops” has been going toward the program.
For a final tally on money raised for the troop care packages, watch this Web site and tune in Land Line Now.
– By Land Line staff