WICHITA, Kan. – After a hiatus last year, the Truckers Christmas Group is back for its seventh season, raising money to help trucking families in need in Canada and the U.S. – and they are looking for nominations.
“The charity is about truckers helping truckers,” said Greg Manchester, director of public relations and co-founder of the group. “We are all truckers and we run this charity while also being out on the road.”
Manchester said the group, which is based out of Wichita, Kan., started when a driver was looking to donate $500 to a driver in need and did not know how to go about bestowing the funds.
“A bunch of us stepped up to the plate,” said Manchester, “and that was the beginning of what we have now.”
Completely volunteer based, all the money raised by Truckers Christmas Group goes to the families of truck drivers in need.
“Once a family has been nominated and vetted, they are added to our voting list,” explained Manchester. “How many families we help depends on how much we are able to raise each year.”
Each family that the charity helps is sent a minimum of $500 in cash and can use the money any way they choose. As Manchester points out, that means if Truckers Christmas Group were to raise $10,000, they could help 20 families.
And right now, they are seeking nominations for trucking families in need. Anyone who would like to make a suggestion can fill out the form on the website, truckerschristmasgroup.org.
Donations are accepted by cheque, but the group prefers that they are made online or via PayPal.
Manchester said they would also be adding several trucking-related products on their online store that are being donated to the charity, including 10 memberships provided by the Owner-Operator’s Business Association of Canada, which will be sold at a discounted price.
Last year, the group did not proceed with its fundraising efforts, as it was in the process of seeking approval of its own license as a charitable foundation after the organization it was affiliated with prior suggested the group branch off on its own.
“We applied for our charitable status but did not receive it in time for last year’s season,” Manchester said, adding that once they did get the license in February 2015, Christmas had passed, and they wanted to ensure they were operating legally.
“We updated our website and donation and nomination process so that all information gathered is kept entirely inhouse,” said Manchester.
The group says it is eager to be able to help others more effectively under its own authority now that it is a registered non-profit organization.
After six years of fundraising, the Truckers Christmas Group has raised approximately $60,000 and helped 100 trucking families.
According to its website, the group hopes to raise $20,000 this year, and have garnered $825 thus far.
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