X-tra Special reunion
Rather than let the families spend a hot night in their tightly packed vehicles, he invited them to sleep in his trailer. His guests included an asthmatic woman and her pet dogs that he let sleep on the top bunk.
Soon Levan, whose home state of Alabama had also been hit hard by Katrina, was host to more than 50 people. When he heard on the CB that a nearby service station might have fuel, he drove some of the motorists, clutching empty jugs, to the station. On his way back, he bought more than 100 McDonald’s hamburgers for the families in the lot.
One of the people he helped wrote his employer, based in Indiana, to express her thanks. “If the world was full of people like Jimmy, we would all be better off,” she wrote.
Levan says he had been helped when he was stranded and was just passing on the good deed. “I believe what goes around comes around,” he says.
TCA awarded Levan a Highway Angel lapel pin, certificate and patch for his good works.
Since the association founded the Highway Angel program in 1997, it has recognized hundreds of truckers for outstanding kindness and courage on the job.
Spirit of Giving
One dollar at a time, the 3,000 truckers and other employees at Contract Freighters, Inc. raised $20,000 to purchase Christmas gifts for local children and senior citizens.
Executive management at the Joplin, Mo.-based international truckload carrier donated prizes, and 20,000 raffle tickets were sold for $1 each to CFI employees.
In December, CFI employees used the money raised in the raffle to go on a shopping spree. They purchased gifts for 100 senior citizens through the Empire District Electric Company’s Christmas Elf Network and 345 children through the Salvation Army.
“Our employees raised an incredible sum of money,” says Herb Schmidt, president and CEO of CFI. “I’m very thankful for their commitment to help others. Many employees gave of their time to shop for gifts. Our employees gave of themselves to provide for the less fortunate. This is a great way to celebrate the holiday season.”
Pen Pal Presents
More than 2,000 elementary and middle school students received at least one toy for Christmas, thanks to Cat Scale and Trucker Buddy International.
Cat Scale donated 2,500 of its mascot Wade Wright Beanie Friends to students in the Trucker Buddy program, and drivers delivered the toys to students in their pen pal classrooms for the holidays.
The Trucker Buddy Program is a non-profit organization that partners truck drivers with classrooms grades two through eight, so the students can learn about geography and enhance their reading, writing, mathematics and social studies skills. Truck drivers write letters to the classrooms about their travels, and the students write back. Many classrooms display a Trucker Buddy map on the wall, tracking the driver’s route. Teachers may also create math problems for students by talking about the weight of their Trucker Buddy’s load.