Owner-operator channels spirit of the season, pays it forward

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

Bob Ruckman of Charleston, S.C., will donate his truck and time to further an Ellicott City, Md., woman’s goal of providing holiday assistance to needy families. As reported in the Howard County Times here, Andrea Ciniero has been conducting her donation drive since 1998, but this year encountered hurdles in funding for the drive that put the entire enterprise in jeopardy.

“In the past,” reported Mary T. Robbins, “she relied on United Parcel Service for a truck, but when the shipping company said it could not help this year, Ciniero was left scrambling to find a way to deliver the items to the impoverished town in Appalachia” she selected as her collected donations’ destination — the Starting Points Family Resource Center in Crum, W.Va.

The 450-mile haul will likely be a short one for Ruckman, who stepped up to the plate after representatives of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association got word of Ciniero’s dilemma. OOIDA spokeswoman Norita Taylor told Robbins, “We…thought there might be a possibility of identifying someone to help, knowing the charitable nature of small business truckers.”

Donations are being accepted today and tomorrow at Ciniero’s Ellicott City home. See the Times story for details.