Truckers for Troops breaks $500,000 mark

By Land Line staff

The numbers are in, and OOIDA's Truckers for Troops campaign has now raised more than half a million dollars to provide care packages to U.S. troops serving in combat zones overseas.

The ninth annual campaign raised more than $43,403 – bringing the lifetime fundraising total to just more than $501,000 – thanks to the generous contributions of OOIDA members and sponsors, the Association announced on Nov. 18.

"A heartfelt thanks goes out to our members for their generosity and for making this campaign a success," OOIDA Public Relations Director Norita Taylor said.

The campaign, which occurs during the week of Veterans Day, offers new and existing OOIDA members a chance to sign up or renew their membership for the discounted price of $35 per year, with 10 percent of the fee going toward care packages for U.S. troops stationed in combat areas overseas. OOIDA matches the 10 percent dollar for dollar.

Shell Rotella, a loyal supporter, offered a $2,000 donation to help kick off the fundraiser this year. To date, the Association has sent more than 2,500 large care packages and served items to nearly 30,000 military personnel stationed in war zones.

The Association is expanding the program's mission this year, to include supplying needed items to various medical care facilities for wounded or needy veterans back in the states.

"We look forward to fulfilling the rest of the program with the care packages," Taylor said. "Be sure to send in those letters and cards, and let us know of any addresses of those serving in combat areas. We are also asking for input on identifying veterans' facilities stateside that are underserved or have unmet needs."

OOIDA is also asking for the names and addresses of troops serving in active combat zones to add to the Association's list of recipients. Call the name and address in to Nikki Johnson at OOIDA at 816-229-5791. You can also email her at troops@ooida.com.

Those zones include Afghanistan, the Kosovo area of Yugoslavia, and the Arabian Peninsula Areas, which includes the Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Gulf of Oman, part of the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the countries of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The care packages will start going out in January 2016 with more mailings after that. The care packages are assembled by volunteers from OOIDA staff. LL