The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: Gopuff donates to eight Covenant House locations, new Trucking Cares president announces new campaign and Bendix Huntington builds an all-inclusive playground for the disabled.
Gopuff helps support runaway and homeless youth
On-demand delivery platform Gopuff announced this week it is donating $40,000 in company credits to Covenant House, a privately funded global charity that provides shelter, food and crisis care for runaway and homeless youths, averaging over 2,000 guests throughout its shelters every night.
“Covenant House is dedicated to the important mission of helping unhoused and at-risk youth across the U.S.,” said Rafael Ilishayev, co-founder and co-CEO of Gopuff. “Gopuff’s reason for being is meeting people’s everyday needs, and we’re grateful to be able to leverage our platform to advance Covenant House’s crucial social mission.”
As a way to honor “Giving Tuesday,” an activist holiday that follows spending holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Gopuff will split its donation among eight Covenant House locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and Orlando, along with donating personal care essentials like toiletries and hygiene products within the delivery platform’s current product inventory.
“It is only through partnerships like this with Gopuff that we are able to help our amazing, resilient young people at Covenant House pursue the great promise of their lives,” said Kevin Ryan, CEO and president of Covenant House. “As winter approaches our needs will only increase, and we are so grateful for this support.”
With Gopuff’s donation and others received on Giving Tuesday, Covenant House raised enough funds to sponsor 5,696 nights of housing for residents in the future.
Lynch named Trucking Cares Foundation president
On Friday, the American Trucking Associations announced that John Lynch, senior vice president of federation relations and industry affairs, will become president of its charity arm, the Trucking Cares Foundation.
“Being able to play a leadership role in the important work the Foundation does is a tremendous challenge and opportunity that I’m looking forward to,” said Lynch.
Since its inception in 2018, the Trucking Cares Foundation has dedicated itself to various initiatives including workforce development, humanitarian and disaster relief, eliminating human trafficking, and other industry concerns.
“I have tremendous confidence that John is going to take the work that has been done in establishing the Trucking Cares Foundation to the next level in what promises to be a strong and successful future for the organization,” said Foundation Chairman Phil Byrd, president and CEO of Bulldog Hiway Express. “Now is the time to build on our early work, and I’m confident John will provide strong leadership for the Trucking Cares Foundation in service of our mission.”
As a part of the new leadership announcement, Lynch also publicized the Foundation’s campagin titled the Trucking Cares Foundation Founders Club, asking members of the club to pledge a $100,000 donation to be completed over the next 10 years.
“In order to truly fulfill our mission, the Foundation needs to not just increase our fundraising efforts, but to ensure those efforts are regular and sustainable. By establishing the Founders Club, we are creating a mechanism where the Foundation will be able to raise funds and direct them in service of the causes we support well into the future,” said Lynch.
Bendix Huntington contributes toward fully inclusive playground
Four years ago, Macy Phillips, an essential skills teacher at Horace Mann Elementary School in Huntington, Indiana, realized she needed to come up with a plan to install an inclusive playground to fit the needs of her students, specifically those who used wheelchairs and had severe physical disabilities.
“There was a little ramp for them to get onto the playground, but there wasn’t anything for them to do once they got up there,” Phillips explained in a press release. “There was only one slide, and the flooring was all mulch. A big part of our program is teaching the kids to play, work and communicate independently, so we use the playground for a lot of things, and they just weren’t able to use it.”
She spent the next few years reaching out to companies in the area for project quotes and quickly learned that the school would need additional support to create the inclusive playground to fit her students’ needs.
Coincidentally, Macy Phillips’ father, Jeff Phillips, an IT analyst with Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, learned that Bendix’s parent company, Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America (KBGCNA) was searching for local Indiana projects to support that would benefit children in the area and encouraged his daughter to apply for a grant to help build the inclusive playground.
“A lot of the people here at Bendix have children at that school, so it was a really good fit for this project,” said Jeff Phillips, who ended up serving as the KBGCNA project champion for the new playground.
KBGCNA went on to approve a $40,000 grant for the project, with Bendix Huntington contributing $10,000 as well, giving Phillips the opportunity to build the playground she had desired.
“Knorr-Bremse Global Care North America and Bendix were thrilled to support the inclusive playground project at Horace Mann Elementary, as an effort that contributes to bringing equity to education and improving the well-being of youth in one of the areas where we operate,” said Maria Gutierrez, president of KBGCNA and director of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Bendix. “It’s truly gratifying to be involved with an effort like this that fills a need for the local community by giving children of all abilities access to more opportunities to learn, communicate and play together.”
After construction began in the summer, the 6,800-square-foot playground was recently completed, accommodating around 50 children at a time. It features multiple slides and ramps, making it easy for disabled children to access the structure. It also includes multiple adaptive swings and an aero glider, a sensory motion product that Phillips explained was a “fan favorite.”
“Every child, no matter their ability, is able to access every part of the playground,” Phillips said. “It’s just an amazing feeling to be able to give the students something that includes them and gives them every single opportunity that any other student at Horace Mann gets. Just to be involved in this at all, it’s really exciting and a huge honor. It’s going to be life-changing for the kids here.”