“It’s completely amazing.” That’s how Tom O’Brien, president and CEO of TravelCenters of America, describes the 2013 Band Together for St. Christopher effort that just wrapped up.
The astounding feat that O’Brien was talking about was TA’s customers and employees pulling together to donate more than $1 million to the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund since November 2010. That’s the month O’Brien’s mega travel center chain began the Band Together campaigns to help professional drivers through the St. Christopher Fund, a nonprofit organization that benefits truck drivers suffering from financial hardship due to medical problems.
This week, TA turned over $286,877.99 in donations to the St. Christopher Fund. It’s the largest single donation amount the SCF has received to date, and takes the total donations that TravelCenters has helped to raise for St. Christopher Fund to nearly $1.1 million.
TA and Petro customers and employees donated generously during TravelCenters’ fourth annual “Band Together for SCF” campaign, as well as during recent professional driver events, including the TA Walcott Truckers Jamboree, the Great American Trucking Show and the OOIDA Heart of America Trucking Show.
The 2013 “Band Together for SCF” campaign ran from Aug. 22 – Oct. 6 at all TA and Petro locations. Drivers were asked to donate $1 to help their fellow drivers in need and in turn received a commemorative wristband. The results were announced Wednesday, Oct. 30.
“This level of generosity can’t be found just anywhere,” said O’Brien. “Professional drivers and those in the trucking industry are some of the most generous people around.”
TravelCenters began holding annual fundraisers for the SCF in 2010. Each year, the campaign donations increase, and 100 percent of all donations collected go to the organization. In addition to holding fundraisers for SCF, TravelCenters has also nominated the charity for BP’s Fueling Communities Grant in each of the last three years, resulting in BP awarding a total of $90,000 in grant money to the charity.
“I have such great gratitude to all of the TA and Petro customers and employees who have made this possible,” said Donna Kennedy, executive director of the SCF. “To date, we have helped more than 800 professional drivers with financial assistance for utility bills, mortgage payments and other monthly bills. In fact, we have paid out more than $40,000 in the last two months.
“Drivers are becoming more aware of the SCF, which is wonderful. But, it’s even more wonderful to have these generous donations that make it possible to help those in need.”