TORONTO, Ont. – Trucks for Change hosted its fifth annual partner reception last night in the heart of Etobicoke where its carrier partners, charities and sponsors all got together to celebrate the milestone year for the non-profit organization.
Trucks for Change was started in 2011 when president and founder, Pete Dalmazzi, thought of a way to streamline the process for charities to move donated goods and freight with ease and at an affordable cost. The organization relies on its member carriers to be there when a charity needs help with transportation.
“We began in 2011 with a vision that working together, the trucking industry could make a real difference by doing what we do best – trucking and moving freight,” Dalmazzi said at the reception. “By doing that we help the charities do what they do best which is make a difference…and it’s turned out to be a very good marriage in that way.”
Today, Dalmazzi said, Truck For Change is comprised of 85 companies within the trucking industry (60 of them are member carriers) based all over Canada’s 10 provinces. To date, the company has helped move more than 15 million pounds of donated food and freight, and more than $250,000 of in-kind donations have been made.
Trucks For Change is involved with charities like the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and food banks across the GTA. At the reception, attendees heard from many speakers about how Trucks For Change has made a direct impact to Canadians across the country. It helped the Red Cross transport donations to families in Fort McMurray during the wildfires earlier this year and it helped contribute many volunteer hours to build homes for those in need through Habitat for Humanity.
“In addition to the freight that we haul in the last 12 months we’ve branched out into doing more community events and that’s where we are looking at the trucking industry as a group that can aggregately come together and volunteer to raise funds,” Dalmazzi said. “We have now reached over 800 hours of charity event volunteer hours and we’ve helped raise over $50,000 at those events. And we’re just beginning. Our goal is to take this all across the country.”
Sticking to his word of getting more involved in local charities, Dalmazzi organized with the Daily Bread Food Bank, a Food Sort Challenge, where eight teams of 10 would help the food bank sort through food donations. This is the challenge’s second year running and exemplifies exactly what Dalmazzi has in mind when it comes to getting trucking more hands-on with local charities.
The challenge is a fast-paced race to see which team can sort through 4,000 lbs of food for the food bank the fastest.
“You’re not just coming to have fun. You’re coming to do work,” said Gail Nyberg, executive director of the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto. “Because every year we distribute in the neighborhood of 9 million pounds of food with five trucks. And we couldn’t do it without your help.”
Organizers at the food bank said that food sort challenges helps them immensely – doing the job one person would do over the course of 40 weeks.
Newcom Business Media put together its group of ten and participated once again in the challenge as the reigning champions.
After the two hour competition, though, Team Newcom didn’t fare as well as last year and came in last place. Bison Transport were the challenge winners, with Trailer Wizards and J.D. Smith and Sons tying for second place and Manitoulin taking home the bronze.
To learn more about the organization or get involved, please call Trucks For Change at (905) 844-8658 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.