Friday, December 21, 2012

JIT – for Christmas


The Trucker Charity Christmas Group met via conference call Thursday night, after weeks of working out the details of the 2012 fundraising. More than $9,500 was distributed to 19 selected families just in time for Christmas.

The families were chosen from 36 applications for help. Each application was carefully vetted, whittling down the number to 19 families. Most of the families were phoned last night in a group call “from the North Pole.”

Each family was informed they had been given $500 in the way of a Comcheck.

One wife was standing in the middle of a gas station when the call came from the trucker group. Three inches of snow was on the way, and she ran out for a gallon of milk. Her trucker husband was off the road after surgery and now had failed his vision test. Christmas was looking bleak.

Another driver had been hurt unloading a truck, and his wife was diagnosed with throat cancer. One was going through divorce, looking for work, trying to scrape up enough money for presents for his sons.

Family after grateful family shared their dilemmas.

“Oh my God, you guys are so wonderful. … There was NOT going to be a Christmas until now.”

“I never had anyone give me anything. … I don’t know what to say …”

“I’m gonna buy my kids some new clothes.”

“Now we can keep the electricity on!”

One woman said her young son had been looking forward to Christmas so much, then overheard her and her trucker husband talking about the money situation. “The look on my son’s face just killed me,” she said. “Now I can buy presents. I don’t know what to say. God bless you!”

As the Christmas Group worked its way down the list of calls to make, not only were some of the beneficiaries on the road, several group members were truckin’ as well. So in between the joyful reactions of the families contacted, mutterings from drivers could be heard.

“I just hit 32 degrees in the pouring rain, wish me luck.”

And “wow, this is some killer wind!”

A driver in North Carolina said, “Not too bad here, guys.”

Another reported, “I am sitting still and the wind is rockin’ the truck pretty bad.”

And then of course, “OK guys, who is next? Who’s playing Santa on the next one?”

The group has been raising funds and “playing Santa” since 2008. Since the project began five years ago, the Christmas Group has raised $46,500 and helped 78 needy trucking families.

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