Hey – did you notice the economy of the United States is a huge mess? Everyone is in this together. No one – regardless of occupation, social status or faith values – has been able to avoid the fallout of this crisis. Charitable giving has seen a decrease in giving as well, but ironically the margin is small compared to what has happened to the economy as a whole. As times goes on, the scholars will study this phenomenon and explain why a nation on the brink of bankruptcy continues to give selflessly. Maybe the answer is simple as…Americans are generous. For all the global negativism America receives about its decadence, a study comparing the philanthropic nature of the USA would be a welcome relief.
Since this organization began in 2009, the list of occupational similarities between law enforcement and the trucking industry continues to grow. One such affinity is charitable giving. Anyone in law enforcement can tell you there is never a lack of flyers and emails about a benefit event happening in a police department near you. As rhe ITEA has built relationships within the trucking industry, the same is also clear there. Truckers are incredibly benevolent. It has been a joy to find ways to bring these two occupations together for similar causes.
As of this time, the ITEA has agreed to fully endorse two charitable organizations. A criteria that has been used to select these organizations is they must intentionally involve police and truckers. Truckers Against Trafficking and the World’s Largest Truck Convoy have met this burden.
On October 6th, cops and truckers from all over the state will convene at the Tinley Park Amphitheatre to drive in the event. Before the convoy begins, participants will hear about all the incredible strides Special Olympics is making for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The drivers head to their rigs, the cops turn on their lights, the air-horns are released, jake brakes are thumped, and the driving begins. For 22 miles, the roads are blocked by the police and it’s clear sailing for the trucks. Dump trucks, freight vans, tankers, and even a large police transport vehicle will be inline this year. Afterwards, the participants meet back up at the venue for lunch, an auction, and good fun. In 2011, more than $45,000 was raised!
Truckers – are you willing to sacrifice a Saturday and $100 to enter/drive your truck in the convoy? Bring a loved one with you to ride along and see what it is all about. Meet police officers who have a heart for your industry as well. Police officers – are you willing to reach out to your local trucking companies and ask them to be a part of this event as well? Stop into the shop and start a conversation with the guys there. You might just discover what decent folk most truckers are.
If you have never had a chance to spend time with kids and adults who have benefitted from Special Olympics, you are missing out. If you have never seen the love and smiles on the faces of parents and family members of kids with special needs, you are missing out. The reward is not the tax write-off. The reward is not the self-satisfaction of doing a good deed. The reward is knowing lives are made better by our sacrifice. We can’t take it with us when we go…let’s dig deep and give what we can now to make this life better for some very special people.