We had someone respond to a message of ours on Facebook, saying that an image we’d posted which read, in part, “it takes a strong man to work away from home to provide for his family, and it takes a strong woman to stand beside him,” was ‘sexist’, and ‘marketing’. With all due respect, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Truckers have difficult, demanding jobs. When they’re out on the road, their families are working right along with them; working to keep the morale up at home, working to fill the place that’s empty every time their loved one is away for work. I don’t know where we got so hung up that we’ve got to footnote a simple statement of fact, but here it is: Trucker families work overtime to make sure absolutely everything is delivered on time to everyone, without discrimination.
Truck driving isn’t limited by gender, and accidents, adversity, and hardship don’t care about census data. Driving truck is a profession more hazardous than many, and drivers and their families are a population that is particularly vulnerable to disaster. God forbid a trucker is injured or killed in the performance of their duties, but answers to the questions of ‘what now?’ are more than a great many families can bear these days, trucking ones included.
What does someone do if they’re broke and hungry, over a thousand miles from home? How does a parent who has geared their entire life around shuttling kids and keeping the home fires burning suddenly shift into the role of primary provider? Plenty of trucker families are living paycheck-to-paycheck, like a great many families, and can’t afford to miss a load, let alone a source of income. How are they going to make ends meet and pay medical expenses in the event of a major health issue?
Thankfully, there are a few organizations out there that exist to help truckers and their families in times of need. We wish there were more, but we’re tremendously grateful for these shining, angelic examples we found.
“Honey, what if something happens while you’re out on the road? What if something happens to me or the kids? HOW are you going to get home if there’s an emergency? How will we get to YOU?”
Founded by a truck driver who had to answer these questions for themselves, TruckersFinalMile.org specializes in reuniting truckers and their families in times of crisis. They provide services to North American truck drivers, are staffed 24/7/365 to process requests, and will provide transportation and lodging for truckers and their families in the event of a loss of life, debilitating injury, or serious illness.
Find them online at http://truckersfinalmile.org/.
St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF)
SCF exists to help truckers suffering hardship because of a current medical issue. For over ten years, they have been helping drivers get access to health resources, and to pay critical household expenses. To date, they’ve provided over two million dollars in aid to over 2,100 truckers.
To donate, sign up for their newsletter, or request assistance, visit their website at https://truckersfund.org/.
Meals for 18 Wheels
This group helps professional drivers across the country get connected with a hot meal. Through a network of volunteers, they will put hungry drivers in touch with locals who can deliver a hot, home-cooked meal to them in their trucks. They will also help drivers and their families who are struggling financially to put food in their cupboards.
Find them on Facebook.
Operation Roger helps unite and re-unite pets with their owners.
If a person finds their lost pet, or a new addition to the family in a shelter somewhere, Operation Roger will arrange transportation for the critter. They currently have just a couple dozen drivers, so if you’d like to volunteer to help, visit http://operationroger.rescuegroups.org/.
If a trucker is stranded due to disaster or inclement weather, Trucker Charity will help secure food and lodging for them. They also provide mentoring and other forms of education to truckers, and other people employed in the trucking industry. Additionally, they operate a food pantry in Illinois that can provide a trucker in need with enough food for three days.
Donations and applications for assistance are taken at their website at http://www.truckercharity.org/.