Trucker Charity Inc. rallies for Joplin relief

| Wednesday, June 01, 2011

With help from Joplin-based Con-way Inc. and Walmart, Trucker Charity Inc. had a successful donation drive for Joplin relief last weekend.

Lance Wood, an OOIDA life member from Summerfield, IL, is the president of Trucker Charity. He is pleased with the outcome of the three-day event, staged in the Walmart parking lot in Belleville, IL. Weather was all over the place from hot to rainy, but it didn’t slow down the effort.

“Truck drivers were out in force,” he told Land Line. He said more volunteers would have been welcome, but they were able to get by with the manpower on hand.

OOIDA Life Member Michael Frybarger of West Unity, OH, spent a day helping collect new and used items and OOIDA Member Kerry Mullins of West Lafayette, IN, was working hard all three days. Husband and wife Pat and Tina Maciejewski also donated their time over the Memorial weekend. Pat is currently stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois and will deploy to Afghanistan in July.

Wood reported that Con-way Freight, Menlo Logistics and Stock Transport also sent people and equipment to help.

OOIDA Members Paul and Kathy Hill of Lonedell, MO, donated a 48-foot refrigerated trailer to Trucker Charity – and not just a loaner, it was designated as a gift to Trucker Charity.

Wood and Mullins were especially touched by a 9-year-old girl who donated $20 of her birthday money to the relief effort.

Donations ranged from body wash to diapers and non-perishable food. Right now 28 pallets of new goods are on the way to Forest Park Baptist Church in Joplin. Another 48-foot trailer is loaded with used goods and will be Joplin-bound once it’s full.

Cargo Transporters gave Trucker Charity use of their yard free of charge to store goods until they’re distributed elsewhere.

Wood has been inspired by this event and other efforts to help the people of Joplin.

“Everyone’s working together,” he said.

One thing that surprised him during the weekend: Some curious people wanted to just come see a truck and trailer close up.

Trucker Charity is planning to do more in the future. Visit their website or follow them on Facebook for updates.