For more than a decade, OOIDA’s Truckers for Troops campaign has been fulfilling its mission: bringing truckers together to support those who protect and defend our nation. Through the generosity of its members and with a matching contribution by the Association, more than $500,000 has been raised to provide care packages to service members stationed abroad. The campaign is now helping a variety of veterans’ facilities here in the U.S. too, including those assisting or housing wounded, disabled or homeless service members.
The first campaign started with a modest goal of raising $5,000. Instead, truckers opened their wallets and generously gave, raising more than $42,083.
Veterans are a huge part of the trucking industry overall, and more than one-third of all OOIDA members have served in the military.
This year’s campaign kicks off the Monday after Veterans Day, Nov. 13. The campaign offers new and existing OOIDA members a chance to sign up or renew their membership for the discounted price of $35 per year. Ten percent of the fee goes toward care packages for U.S. troops stationed in combat areas overseas. OOIDA matches the 10 percent dollar for dollar.
Once again, Shell Rotella has pledged a $2,000 contribution to kick off the fundraiser.
Land Line Now airs the Truckers for Troops campaign beginning Monday, Nov. 13, and runs through Friday, Nov. 17.
To be a part of it, just call OOIDA’s main number, 800-444-5791. During business hours, let operators know you’re calling about Truckers for Troops, and they will transfer you to membership. Phones will be answered live, and the switchboards will stay open later than usual, so you can call until 7:30 p.m. CST.
You can join or renew your membership with OOIDA – for as many years as you like at $35.
You can also visit Jon Osburn at The Spirit of the American Trucker touring trailer during the campaign and sign up or renew your membership. Jon will also be giving away a special gift to those who sign up at The Spirit, while supplies last.
Mail-in contributions will also be accepted. However, payments must specify “Troops” in order for them to be counted toward the total.
To date, the Association has sent more than 3,000 large care packages and provided items to nearly 36,000 military personnel stationed in areas designated as combat zones. Those zones include Afghanistan, the Arabian Peninsula areas, which includes the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, part of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It also still includes the Kosovo area of Yugoslavia.
It costs about $220 for all the items in one box, and shipping costs generally average $63 per box, for a total of $283. All the purchasing, organizing and packing of the boxes is handled by OOIDA staff volunteers, ensuring that 100 percent of the money raised is used to purchase items and cover shipping.
In 2015, the Association expanded the program’s mission to include supplying needed items to various medical care facilities for wounded or needy veterans back in the states.
OOIDA is also asking for the names and addresses of troops serving in active combat zones to add to the Association’s list of recipients. Call the name and address in to Nikki Johnson at OOIDA at 816-229-5791. You also may email her at email@example.com.
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