December 1, 2004
Christmas time brings out the best in people and the trucking industry is no exception.
For the second straight year, a couple of hard-working philanthropists in Calgary are organizing the 18 Wheels of Christmas campaign.
Last year, they managed to fill a 48-foot van trailer (donated by Rosenau Transport) with food for Alberta food banks.
About 26,000 pounds of food was collected in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
This year, the determined duo of Colleen Nickel and Dale Hart are at it once again with the hope of surpassing last year’s achievement.
A new addition to the organizing team is Chris Richards in Lloydminster who is spearheading the efforts in that region of the province.
In fact, they are also looking for volunteers from within the industry to champion their cause in other provinces as well under the 18 Wheels of Christmas banner.
Carriers can get involved by placing bins in their terminals and asking employees to contribute the odd non-perishable food item.
The only regret organizers have so far is that it seems to be the general public making most of the contributions as opposed to people within the trucking industry itself.
There were exceptions, however. Some carriers such as Manitoulin Transport have been huge supporters and have actually placed bins at its customers’ facilities as well.
This yielded a 7,000 pound donation on behalf of Manitoulin last year.
Other companies, such as Big Horn Transport, donated an entire skid of food (in Big Horn’s case, it was a full skid of peanut butter).
Nickel and Hart are challenging the industry to step it up a notch this year and help organizers surpass their goal.
The uniquely decorated trailer will be a common sight on Alberta highways as it traverses the province collecting donations this month.
The trailer will also be seen at truck stops and at loading docks of participating carriers where it will be picking up food items.
The 18 Wheels of Christmas campaign isn’t the only time members of the trucking community have rallied to help those in need.
Whenever disaster strikes it seems there are carriers willing to volunteer their services to deliver emergency supplies free of charge.
Efforts like these should be commended and supported as they go a long way towards improving the trucking industry’s image.
For more information about the 18 Wheels of Christmas food drive or to make a donation, contact program co-ordinators Dale Hart at (403) 279-4204 or Colleen Nickel at (403) 279-4204 in Calgary.
Or call Chris Richards at (780) 808-5219 in Lloydminster. You can also reach them by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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