The St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund is a truck driver charity that helps drivers whose medical problems have led to financial hardship. This week, the St. Christopher Fund announced it has surpassed the half-million dollar mark in total assistance to truckers since the fund was established in 2007.
In 2013, the SCF was able to assist 211 drivers and their families with more than $197,000. This brings the total number of beneficiaries to 928, with a total assistance amount of more than $552,000.
Executive Director Dr. Donna Kennedy says the number helped does not reflect the number of drivers that have re-applied for assistance (102 in 2013), drivers the fund has helped with getting other resources, those who were offered assistance but then declined, or medical bill amounts SCF has been able to get reduced.
She says the majority of applicants are afflicted with cardiovascular disease, injuries, pulmonary issues and cancer.
Dr. John McElligott, medical review officer for the SCF, said he was pleased with the assistance the fund has been able to provide and he was hoping for a better 2014 in regard to driver health.
“It was our best year, but it was also the saddest year,” he said. “The drivers are younger, sicker, more incapacitated, and many are unable to ever drive again.”
Kennedy shared some of the notes from those assisted by the fund.
One trucker wrote: “Tragedies in life can happen so unexpectedly and catch us off-guard. It is nice to know that there are organizations set up to help in times of need. Thank you so much, and we hope we will be able to pay forward in the future. God bless you.”
Another wrote: “I just want to say thank you for your help when I was going through my liver transplant. I plan to enjoy life again and this is because of your wonderful organization that helped me keep a roof over my head during my crisis.”
Last year, the Fourth Annual Band Together for the St. Christopher Fund campaign, which is operated and sponsored by TravelCenters of America LLC, raised $280,157.55. This year’s campaign put total contributions since 2010 at over $1 million.
Another popular fundraiser, the Big Rig of Change program, brought in 293.6 pounds of change in 2013, bringing the total poundage to 382.2 for a total of $4,458.79. The SCF’s goal is to collect 80,000 pounds of change that will go to helping drivers.
SCF is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization. Along with assistance, the SCF also conducts health research to benefit truck drivers and the trucking industry. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.truckersfund.org/ or send a letter to P.O. Box 30763, Knoxville, Tenn. 37930.