BRAMPTON, Ont. – The Trucks for Change Network has hauled the equivalent of a whole house for Habitat for Humanity.
The group picked up its 10 millionth pound of goods hauled for charities last week. Those goods include a total worth more than $160,000 in donated transportation for Habitat for Humanity and the Habitat ReStore – a total equivalent to the cost of a Habitat home.
The historic load was picked up by Trucks for Change founding partner Kriska Transportation.
Driver and trainer Sylvain Binette and his trainee, Tyler Cole, who has been driving for just seven weeks, picked up the load destined for ReStores in Brockville, Kemptville, and Ottawa, Ont.
It was the first Trucks for Change load for Binette, who is also a part of the Road Knights program with the Ontario Trucking Association.
“It’s fun,” he said. “It’s for a good cause, so its hard to turn down.”
While it was the inagural Trucks for Change run for Binette, Kriska has been hauling goods for Habitat since the beginning.
Habitat was the first group to sign on to Trucks for Change, working jointly on a pilot program to test the concept in 2011.
Pete Dalmazzi, president of Trucks for Change called working with Habitat a “match made in heaven.”
The network now consists of 60 carriers from across the country that donate transportation or reduce their rates for partiipating charities. About 30 of those carriers have moved loads for the housing not-for-profit.
Dalmazzi says carriers are constantly moving goods for good causes, often donating time and space by picking up loads headed for places they were going to anyway.
Rob Voisin, vice-president of ReStore Enterprises with Habitat said the donated transportation has done more for the organization than just save them money.
“It’s allowed us to put product – not only ReStore product, but build product – into other communities, like Thunder Bay, say, that we couldn’t make the economics work prior, and now we’re able to move product to some of those more remote affiliate operations to support them,” he said.
The Brampton warehouse for Habitat for Humanity takes in donated goods and building supplies to be resold across the country to raise money for new housing projects.
Often the goods such as kitchen appliances, couches, mattresses, and other small household items and furniture are donated because they are gently used, or are floor models, but are not suitable for build projects.
“It’s been a great partnership. Trucks for change has certainly been an amazing leader in the space,” said Voisin.
Dalmazzi says the journey to 10 million pounds hasn’t been without its challenges.
“For those of you in our industry, you know capacity is really tight right now. Sometimes we have to work a lot harder to find space in trucks to help these guys out,” he said. “But fortunately, we have a lot of good-hearted people in the industry who usually find a way to find some space.”
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