This past weekend I was privileged enough to have taken part in a wonderful event, benefitting a wonderful cause. The 24th Annual Great Salt Lake Kidney Kamp Truck Show is a wonderful event whose donations enable more than 200 children who have kidney failure, are on dialysis, or are awaiting a transplant to attend a wonderful camping experience in the Utah mountains. I was even able to meet one of the transplant patients, as he was a participant in one of the games we had set up at the Warner Truck Center booth.
Shows like this are amongst some of the most important tools to bettering the image of our industry. Although there are still mainly a lot of chromed out, non-aerodynamic show trucks that show up, the right message can still be conveyed if you can see past the blinding rays! The message I am talking about is the one that I see when I witness the kids taking ride in a set of double belly-dump trailers pulled behind a small-scale truck powered by a ride-on lawnmower setup underneath. People can actually come out to these outdoor events and witness first-hand that there is more to a lot of truckers besides the gear-jamming, coffee-wired, road maniac stereotype that has been developed due to media hype and movie portrayals.
As a successful business owner, I know there is a certain thing called social responsibility. Although it is something I learned in college, it is something that I feel should be a common sense practice to any ethical business professional with good morals. It can be as simple as donating to your favorite charity or even doing a show that benefits a good cause. The whole principle behind this is not only to raise awareness of your business within the community, but to also give back to those that may not be as fortunate or might be in need of special assistance.
Since being a trucker does not really allow for us to stay in one place for too long, there are a lot of ways to fulfill your social responsibility while on the road. A few of my fellow pros are members of Trucker Buddy International, which is a great way to improve the image of the industry through our youth while giving back to them at the same time. Students really enjoy the penpal relationship they get from their “buddy” on the road who shares accounts of the sights and sounds of the road. Once in a while, maybe even a souvenir or visit to the school with the truck can be had by the class' buddy! Another way, which I plan to take part in at this years GATS in Dallas is to take part in events such as the Trucking Solutions Group (TSG) Health Awareness Walk or the TSG/American Red Cross blood drive. As you can see, your social responsibility can be more
than just a monetary contribution!
I am a big believer in one good turn deserving another, which is why I try to give back as much as I can. I have been so blessed in my life, both personal and professional, that not giving back would be a travesty. Of all the connections I made at the Great Salt Lake show, one sticks out in my mind more than all the rest. The look on the face of the boy in the wheelchair, who was a kidney patient, when he got to pick one of the Freightliner hats for himself after playing the game we had setup sticks with me in my heart. The smile on his face was priceless as he looked up at us and said he would not take it off for the rest of the day! Reach out to the communities you travel through or may even call home because your involvement with them may have a bigger impact than you could ever imagine.