Even as more and more states are opening up their shops, businesses, and parks, the global pandemic continues to rage. At the time of this writing, there have been warnings of meat shortages and rising grocery prices. Essential workers are the key to keep operations running as smoothly as possible so that groceries remain on the shelves and at a fair price. But with essential workers contracting COVID-19 on the job causing hiccups in the supply chain or essential services, the future seems bleak. Fortunately, there are organizations out there doing their part to keep truckers healthy.
Truck drivers are essential in keeping our lives as normal as possible. If it weren’t for truck drivers, we would have little food in our pantries, no cleaning supplies (unless we made it ourselves), the garbage in our dumpsters would be sky high, and without service truck drivers, we would likely be without power living our lives by candlelight. If we ignore the needs of truck drivers, we risk losing life as we know it.
To prevent our lives from looking post-apocalyptic, one organization, Truckers Emergency Assistance Responders (TEAR), teamed up with DDC FPO to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to truck drivers moving in and out of zones hit hard by COVID-19. According to DDC FPO’s COO and president, Marissa Crotty, the company sought the most effective and quickest way to help drivers stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. When they reached out to clients for insight into what would have the biggest impact, the responses were unanimous.
“Our clients reported that what the drivers need most is PPE,” Crotty says. “So, we were determined to find a way to do that.”
Each PPE kit includes masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, antiseptic wipes, and snacks. The delivery process is well-coordinated and intentionally targets specific truck stops and rest areas to provide kits to as many drivers as possible across the nation.
“It’s huge having DDC’s support,” says Desiree Wood of TEAR. “We simply don’t have the funding to make these kits, let alone to purchase the gas to drive the 120 miles a day to hand them out or even to cover the fee to print the Thank You notes.”
ALL FOR ONE
In addition to DDC FPO’s contributions, Stuckey’s Corporation and Transfix have also played instrumental roles in TEAR’s success. Stuckey’s provides the snacks that are placed in each PPE kit.
CEO of Stuckey’s Corporation, Stephanie Stuckey, shared that she wanted the business to help others during the pandemic. She specifically researched what organizations provide trucker relief and found TEAR.
“We love partnering with an organization founded by truckers that’s working for truckers,” Stuckey says. “I admire and respect these drivers and know how important they are to our supply chain, which is under strain like never before.”
According to Lily Shen, president and CEO of Transfix, “The unfortunate reality is that while truckers are putting their health on the line to keep goods moving, many cannot access PPE and are being turned away from delivering essential goods because of it. We are excited to have partnered with TEAR to distribute resources to truckers nationwide.”
Shen also said they continue to urge others to share PPE donations and advocate for policy changes that will help make these truckers’ lives easier.
“These partners help tremendously,” Wood adds. “Truckers are first responders, and people are seeing that.”
The world is facing unprecedented times, and the trucking industry is no exception. From supply chain to service providers, truckers are essential in keeping the American lifestyle we expect to live comfortably, and they must be respected and protected.
If you or your business would like to donate to TEAR to help protect our essential truck drivers, visit www.cdltear.org/donate.