Six weeks of customers donating spare change at TravelCenters of America locations raised $88,027 for the St. Christopher Trucker Relief Fund (SCF). The charity needs just $32,000 to reach its $1 million fundraising goal for 2020.
TA is a longtime supporter of SCF, raising nearly $3 million since 2010. It typically conducts multiple fundraisers each year.
“We usually donate more to SCF annually through other events/raffles held with our employees during the year,” TA spokeswoman Tina Arundel said. “Unfortunately those events had to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Yet the pandemic contributed to unprecedented giving to St. Christopher, which helps truckers pay certain bills when they are forced off the road because of injury or illness. More Information is available at truckersfund.org.
“Our tagline has been ‘Driven To A Million.’ When the pandemic hit we never dreamed we would make this goal,” Shannon Currier, St. Christopher director of philanthropy and development, told FreightWaves in an email.
More donations than ever
“We did not meet our fundraising goal for 2019,” she said. “So not only did we want to cover what we didn’t bring in in 2019, we set an aggressive goal to bring in more than we’ve ever brought in. We have received more donations this year than we have ever received.”
The charity has received a few dozen requests for financial support due to COVID.
“But I can say the number is growing. When we talked earlier this year, I said we may see the COVID numbers in the driver population be delayed. And I think we are seeing that come true now.”
TravelCenters register roundup
Customers at TA, Petro and TA Express travel centers donated to the “Be a Champion of Change” register roundup campaign between Sept. 16 and Nov. 30. They rounded up the dollar amount on purchases in stores, restaurants and fuel buildings.
The 2020 TravelCenters campaign featured professional driver Howard Salmon and his son, Liam, a 5-year-old diagnosed with terminal cancer in January.
“He is an everyday blessing in my life,” Salmon said. “Being home with him when I got home from the road was like Father’s Day all over again. What we’re doing with SCF is helping the next family, not just the next individual, but the entire family.”
The Salmons appeared on point-of-sale posters in TravelCenters’ locations.
In addition to helping professional drivers, the “Be a Champion of Change” campaign helped address the nationwide coin shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.