ATA sets out to quantify the industry’s charitable efforts.
By Rhonda J. Wilson
How do you give back to your community? Disaster relief efforts? Food drives? School or youth programs?
Luke and Amber Pinkelman flex their charitable muscles by donating their time and labor. Their shop, Pinkelman Truck & Trailer in Norfolk, Nebraska, detailed and installed the stack of a truck promoting breast and ovarian cancer awareness.
“The company that owns the truck is West Hodson Concrete,” Amber says. “Someone in their company lost a loved one to cancer, so they donate a percentage of the money earned from each load of concrete they deliver with this truck to research.”
Around the holidays, the Pinkelmans also give away a turkey for every invoice completed in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. The birds get delivered to needy families at the Norfolk Rescue Mission. Other shop owners, such as Lynnetta Rogers, donate 50 cents to $1 during August, September and October to a local food drive for every $100 spent by her customers. “Our customers know that by spending dollars with us, they’re giving back to the community,” says the co-owner of 2nd-to-None Service in Moriarty and Albuquerque.
Plus, Rogers collects classroom supplies before and during the school year and canned foods on a regular basis. She then donates them to food banks and charities.
Debbie Jennerjohn’s customers enjoy participating in local food drives as well. The co-owner of Ultimate Truck Service in Ridgefield, Washington, collects cans and donations during the holidays and throughout the year and matches the collection totals of her customers.
Philanthropic efforts not only promote a sense of goodwill, they also increase your visibility in the community. Mobile Transport Repair participates in toy and clothing drives. “We’ve also sponsored a high school sports team,” says Holly Lawrence, co-owner of the Colorado Springs, Colorado, shop. “We love giving back to the community, and we want to grow and do even more in this area.”
In honor of this philanthropic spirit, American Trucking Associations (ATA) recently commissioned the American Transportation Research Institute to examine and quantify the trucking industry’s various charitable efforts with a survey. “In October, during my first State of the Industry address, I said ATA would be launching a charitable foundation aimed at our industry’s top priority,” says Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO. “But to do that, we must first identify what it is our industry already does. This survey will help us narrow that list down, so we can focus our soon-to-be-launched foundation’s efforts.”
Trucks transport more than just the freight to local communities. “They deliver money and volunteer efforts for charities and organizations in their communities,” says Kevin Burch, ATA chairman and president of Jet Express in Dayton, Ohio, “We want to take that giving spirit national with a new industry foundation, and this survey will help us do that.”
The survey, which can be taken at www.atri-online.org, asks respondents to break down their efforts by individual or corporate, state and value of contributions. “I’m certain our total charitable giving is in the billions of dollars,” Spears says. “But in order to effectively tell the story of our industry’s generosity, we need to understand all that trucking does to make our community better.”