JEFFERSON, Ga. — For Aprils ACS MultiMedia Trucker Buddy of the Month, Brenda Meacham, the best birthday present of all is the gift of giving. In 2006, she surprised her class with bicycles on March 24, her birthday. In 2007, Meacham gave her class laptops. Not a woman of means, this feisty truck driver knows how to reach out to family, friends and employers, seeking their assistance with fulfilling dreams and needs for children.
“I am just the cheerleader,” she said modestly of her endeavours. Meacham has since been compared with the genie from Aladdin. When a nine-year-old in her 2005-06 Latham Elementary Trucker Buddy class wished for all people to have a house to live in, this genie in Trucker Buddy disguise raised money in his honour for Habitat for Humanity. Other Trucker Buddies, family and friends, co-workers and even people Meacham barely knew contributed money for Habitat for Humanity as well as to the school supplies fund. Bob Mazurek, owner of Carolina Southern, donated the money for the rest of the students’ wishes.
But it was not just the gifts that earned Meacham her Trucker Buddy honour. She has been nominated for the award twice by her teachers at the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based school. In 2006, second-grade teacher Lillian Wilson wrote a glowing recommendation, “She has been very involved. She talks to them about being helpers in their homes and in the communities. Brenda is just an all around nice person. We love her here at Latham Elementary.”
Earlier this year, her current teacher Ms. Jenkins nominated her again on behalf of her fifth graders. This class of 35 worked hard on projects through the Trucker Buddy pen-pal program, said Meacham, explaining that they had to write essays about making America better.
As a reward, Meacham again championed the cause, and she and Carolina Southern made the laptops possible. Meacham, a Trucker Buddy since 2004, has generated an enormous amount of positive publicity through her endeavours, hitting the headlines of many industry publications as well as the North Carolina news media and even Women’s World magazine. In the process, she has helped expose thousands of people to a very positive image of our industry, while also making a positive impact on the lives of many children.
The lessons learned from a father who was a Baptist preacher have carried Trucker Buddy Meacham far in life. She credits her father with her enthusiastic outlook and a promise she teaches to children.
Children are now repeating what her father taught her, as student Sergio did in his nomination letter: “She also taught us a promise that I will never forget… ‘Give something, no charge, and pass it on.’ I think she is the most generous person that ever walked the planet.”
Appearing as a genie to these schoolchildren, by providing fancy gifts as well as needed items such as dictionaries, thesauruses, notebooks, pencils and erasers, was enough to become a hero at Latham Elementary. Yet it was the inner gift of living life to its fullest and mentoring that really made an impression, as evidenced by the comments the students made in their nomination letters.
Student Roneque said that when the class received laptops her dream came true. Jose thanked Meacham and all other Trucker Buddies for helping people everywhere. “Mrs. Meacham is the best Trucker Buddy a class could ever have, said one student, Shania. Every time I see her my day just lights up.” Sadly, one of the best comments wasnt signed by the fifth grader: “This year has been the best of all my years because I was in a Trucker Buddy program.”
For more information on the Trucker Buddy program visit www.truckerbuddy.org.
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