Truck Drivers Come Together to Support the Special Olympics
Each year, truck drivers with hearts of gold get together to help aspiring athletes get a little gold themselves…. all in support of the Special Olympic program.
Since 2001, truck drivers throughout the U.S and Canada have come together to raise money for Special Olympics by participating in truck convoys through selected cities. The drivers behind the wheel of the trucks have two common goals: salute the Special Olympics athletes and raise money to help them participate in area venues. For top qualifying athletes, they’ll make their way to the grand event itself – this past summer it was held in Seattle. That’s why inside the cabs, you’ll find drivers with big smiles, happy to participate for a good cause.
Since the first truck convoy in Orlando Florida, which raised $17,000, the event has grown beyond anyone’s expectations. In fact, this year at the 2018 Special Olympics truck convoy in Joplin, Missouri, 522 trucks participated, raising $191,175. All told, a total of 2,934 trucks and drivers participated in 26 convoys throughout the U.S. and Canada — raising $1.2 million that will be used to help fund 21 Special Olympics programs. All we can say is WOW!
Escorted by local law enforcement, drivers in formation drive through the host town. Driver’s themselves reach into their pockets, donating a minimum of $100 to participate. At area fundraisers, auctions as well as other events, are held to further support the efforts.
According to Robin Anderson, development director for Special Olympics Missouri, the money generated from the convoys help the Special Olympics put on many activities that wouldn’t be possible without the donations. It also helps make travel plans possible for the Special Olympic athletes.
While money generated by the convoys is important to help fund the Special Olympics, the underlying story is the personal connection built by the fundraiser. It’s why drivers continue to come back — many drivers make it a tradition each year to drive in the convoy. At the event, athletes get the opportunity to climb into a big-rig, see what it’s like inside the cab, meet the driver and get a first-hand experience of what riding in a truck is like.
The convoy can be a life changing experience for a driver. It’s an opportunity for them to really connect with the people in their community and leave the athlete with the impression that they have their full-on support.
Drivewyze salutes our Special Olympic athletes, and we salute all the drivers who support them through the convoy. Fundraisers like the truck convoy bring out the best in people and we look forward to the continued growth of the convoy.
Interested in joining the Special Olympics convoy? Check out the Special Olympics Truck Convoy Resource page for more information.