OOIDA’s Ninth Annual Truckers for Troops campaign is wrapping up, but there’s still an opportunity for you to help support America’s military.
During Truckers for Troops week, a telethon broadcast is played each day on OOIDA’s “Land Line Now” satellite radio show on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Channel. During that week, truckers can join OOIDA or renew their membership for $35, with 10 percent of that money going toward care packages for U.S. troops stationed in combat areas overseas. OOIDA matches the 10 percent dollar for dollar.
Although the radio show portion of the telethon ends Friday night (with repeat broadcasts this weekend), the phone lines remain open on Saturday, Nov. 14, and Sunday, Nov. 15. You can also join or renew online, or with Jon Osburn at the Spirit of the American Trucker tour truck until the start of business on Monday, Nov. 16. Those who join, renew or donate at the Spirit Truck can get a Truckers for Troops T-shirt while supplies last. T-shirts can also be purchased online at ooida.com, or by calling membership. Two dollars from the sale of every shirt goes into the care package fund.
Once the telethon concludes, there is still plenty of work to be done. The Association is actively soliciting names and addresses for veterans who are deployed in combat zones. In addition to the program’s traditional mission, and thanks to the generous support received during the telethon, OOIDA will expand its mission by providing needed items to various medical care facilities for wounded or needy veterans back in the states.
Once the holidays have concluded, OOIDA staff volunteers will begin purchasing, organizing and packing the cartoons. The volunteers give a lot of time to make sure this is done right. The Association doesn’t hire out the process to an outside contractor, so 100 percent of the money raised is used for purchasing items and shipping.
The packages themselves cost approximately $220 for all the items in one box, and an additional $63 to ship one, for a total of $283. In the past, some life members have donated that exact amount, which the Association matches, dollar for dollar.
Packages weigh about 60 pounds and are filled with both fun things and necessities such as socks, personal hygiene items, puzzles, Silly String, lip balm, snacks and more.
The Association is also encouraging members and their families to provide cards and letters thanking our veterans for their service. OOIDA wants to make sure that when our troops come home, especially those suffering from severe physical injuries and other challenges, that they know they are not forgotten. Cards and letters can be from children or adults.
Care packages will not start to arrive until 2016. It’s common for the troops receive a lot of gifts during the holidays, but nothing in the months afterward. OOIDA prefers to send several packages throughout the year. The Association wants the troops to always know they are thought of all the time, not just during the holidays.
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