Here I was sitting at home sick and feeling bad that I was not being a productive part of society when in the mail there was a yellow manila envelope from my Trucker Buddy Class. For those of you that are not familiar with Trucker Buddy International here is a little history straight from their website: 

In November 1992, a professional truck driver, Gary King, contacted a grade school in Williams Bay, WI, and asked the principal for permission to write to a class of students as "pen-pals." 

One fourth grade teacher quickly agreed, and King began writing postcards and short letters every week. The students eagerly wrote back and asked him questions about driving and the sights he saw. The teacher quickly recognized the value of the letters in stimulating the children's interest in reading, writing, and other subjects, and integrated them into her teaching routine. 

When other drivers saw King writing his postcards and letters at the many truckstops he visited across the country, they too became interested in the program and wanted their own pen-pals.

The Trucker Buddy program became incorporated on July 1, 1992. Within the first year of operation, Trucker Buddy grew to almost 1,000 driver-teacher matches. 

Today the program has over 2,000 matches and almost 60,000 students per year. The Board of Directors was expanded to include active drivers and one teacher. 

Screening and background checks were added to ensure the safety of the children. These are performed on each new and renewed driver. Even the Board of Directors must pass the same test. Trucker Buddies enrich the lives of tens of thousands of school children and places a face behind the steering wheel of trucks across the country.

I encourage any driver to check out Trucker Buddy International and if you decide to participate you won't be disappointed. No matter how much you give you will always feel like you receive more than you can put in. This program enables us as truckers to put a human behind every truck these young people see on the highway. 

I would also like to ask all of you company drivers to encourage your carrier to get involved in supporting Trucker Buddy International as it is an excellent trucking outreach program. 

Below are the letters I received from my class. It is very interesting to see how much the students’ penmanship improves as the school year progresses along with their drawing skills. I think you will find it easy to understand why it always brings a smile to my face when I get an envelope from my Trucker Buddy Class.

       

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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