Truckers send more care packages to troops

| Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The assembly line in the downstairs parking garage at OOIDA was all hustle on Wednesday, April 27. Dozens of workers worked at a vigorous pace, preparing another shipment of care packages that will be sent to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. 


Miles Verhoef
Photo by Nikohle Ellis

OOIDA Life Member Miles Verhoef

From the breaking down of the huge cardboard boxes to the neat packing and final taping, everybody looked as if they’d done it for years.

“Need one more Frisbee … OK this one is done.”

“Here, hold this flap, here’s more tape …”

As efficient as they were, packing wasn’t the regular day job for these workers. Members of the OOIDA Board who were at headquarters for this week’s Spring Board of Directors meeting were happy to lend a hand in the packing, as were their wives. During the morning shift, Steve Davenport and his wife Jo Ann, Lewisville, TX; Mark Elrod and his wife Margo, Peru, IN; Martha Taylor, Cross Junction, VA; Paula Chambers, Eddyville, KY; Rita Wilkins, St. Charles, MI; Betty Owen, Waco, TX; Miles Verhoef, Tomah, WI; Henry Albert, Statesville, NC; Bill Rode, Eagle, ID, and others pitched in.

OOIDA Member Steve Gilbert, Ottawa, KS, and Life Member Rick Ash, Lakewood, CO, were also on hand to help, as was one driver who was not yet a member.

“But I’m joining OOIDA today,” said Walmart driver Paula Dmyterko, Lenexa, KS, as she worked on the assembly line of truckers, board members and OOIDA staffers.


Leland Martin
Photo by Nikohle Ellis

OOIDA member and country artist Leland Martin

Others who helped during second shift included Lewie Pugh, Freeport, OH.

Country western singer and songwriter Leland Martin arranged his schedule to help, too. Martin and his wife Pam joined in the packing, along with dozens of OOIDA staff members who worked several shifts during the day to pack socks, Silly String (good for detecting trip wires), bubble gum, peanuts, cracker snacks, Frisbees, dice games, plus handwritten letters from kids.

It wasn’t Martin’s first trip to OOIDA headquarters to participate in a “Truckers for Troops” effort. He’s joined in the fundraising and the packing in past years. Martin, an OOIDA member, has also generously donated proceeds from the sale of one of his CDs which includes a song titled “Truckers for Troops.”

OOIDA is able to send these packages thanks to a weeklong fund raising campaign held in December. The campaign was promoted on the Association’s magazine and radio program, Land Line and Land Line Now on Sirius XM, as well as on Facebook. Member response was overwhelming. The final total amount raised is more than $71,000.

Wednesday’s shipment was the second of two shipments of care packages.