CALGARY, Alta. - The 18 Wheels of Christmas trailer was a familiar sight on Alberta highways throughout the Christmas season as the trucking industry rallied together to combat hunger.The trailer, sup...
CHRISTMAS SPIRIT: Organizers Colleen Nickel and Dale Hart accept a donation from Manitoulin Transport sales professional, Michael Davis in Calgary. Photo by Evalee Sommerfeldt
SPIRIT OF GIVING: This trailer, donated by Rosenau Transport, was driven throughout Alberta, collecting food donations from transport companies. Photo by Evalee Sommerfeldt
CALGARY, Alta. – The 18 Wheels of Christmas trailer was a familiar sight on Alberta highways throughout the Christmas season as the trucking industry rallied together to combat hunger.
The trailer, supplied by Rosenau Transport, was driven throughout the province where it picked up food donations collected by transport companies. Despite the rivalries that exist between many trucking companies, organizer Dale Hart said the industry came together to support a worthwhile cause.
“We’re competitors but at Christmas time, let’s come together and let’s fill the trailer,” urged Hart as she waited for a donation from Manitoulin Transport to be loaded aboard the truck, just weeks before Christmas.
Hart and Colleen Nickel developed the program nearly a year ago after being inspired by the Ride for Toys program run by a group of motorcycle enthusiasts. Near the end of the summer, a 48-foot trailer provided by Rosenau Transport was donated to the cause and it was decorated with the Christmas theme in mind.
There was a Santa Claus mural and Christmas lights adorned the sides of the trailer.
As donors contributed to the food drive, their company names were placed on the side of the trailer in order to earn them recognition as the trailer is driven across the province.
Even though Rosenau donated the trailer, Hart and Nickel emphasize it’s not about just one company.
“We work there but it’s not about Rosenau, it is about the trucking industry and we’re trying to bring them all together,” said Hart.
The goal is to collect 48,000-lbs. of food. In late November, they had already accumulated 3,500-lbs and they were optimistic the goal would be reached.
“We want to fill it with 48,000-lbs and we are going to do it one way or another,” vowed Hart.
While some individuals have contributed to the cause, Hart and Nickel want to keep the focus on transportation companies.
“It’s sponsored by the transportation industry, which means every trucking company would go to their customers and they would get food donations,” explained Hart. “We wanted to keep it to transportation but we’ve also had some citizens phone in with donations so we are putting their names on the trailer as well.”
While this is the first year of the campaign, it’s going to be an annual event, according to organizers. For more information about next year’s campaign, call 403-279-4204.
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