CALGARY, Alta. – The 18 Wheels of Christmas campaign is once again accepting donations for food banks in Western Canada.
The campaign kicked off on October 1 this year, and its purpose is to fill several decorated trailers from top to bottom, front to back with non-perishable food items for food banks in the community in which the donations are collected. The campaign was launched by Rosenau Transport back in 2002 and has grown every year since its inception.
“This is our thirteenth year going, it’s our thirteenth season,” said Colleen Nickel, co-founder of 18 Wheels and customer service representative at Rosenau. “Everything we collect stays in the community it is collected in. So all of Calgary’s donations stay in Calgary. Okotoks’ in Okotoks and Edmonton’s in Edmonton.”
This year 18 Wheels has several trailers across Western Canada that are looking to be filled. Mostly the campaigns’ supporters are Rosenau’s customers (who are very generous and eager to support the food banks according to Nickel) and the general public across Western Canada. Nickel says she looks forward to the campaign each year because of the giving spirit it promotes.
“When you see families come out when the trailer is parked, and little kids are bringing donations in their tiny arms, it just means the world to us,” she said. “It could be the coldest day in Calgary but it warms your heart because that child is learning how to give.”
To date, in Calgary, 18 Wheels has donated more than 360,000 pounds of food to local food banks. This year, Nickel says its goal isn’t measured in pounds, but rather to have the trailers they have in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan completely filled.
“Trucking goes by volume, so our main concern is we want to have at least 50 skids per trailer,” she said. “We want it filled from the front to the back door of the trailer.”
Nickel added that the program also accepts monetary donations in the form of cheques. She said organizers of 18 Wheels, like herself, then use the money to buy groceries to fill the trucks. If your donation exceeds $1,000, your company’s name or your name will be on the trailer to which you donated.
“Everyone can donate until December 22 this year,” Nickel added about the cut-off for this year’s campaign. “They can donate food up until that point, but we prefer monetary donations to be at least a week prior to that date, so we have time to grocery shop.”
For information on how you can help donate, please contact the following depending on your location:
Dawson Creek, Fort St John: Chris Richards at (250) 719-7528
Fort Nelson: Brandon Jensen at (250)500-2071
Grande Prairie: Rosa Harnett at 1 (877) 746-7447
Edmonton: Sandra Bottorff at 1 (800) 371-6895
Calgary: Dale Hart at 1 (800) 640-9602
Medicine Hat: Dillon Rosenau at (403) 548-6704
Saskatoon: Carrie Willey 1at (800) 448-4594