Fleets, suppliers feel the holiday spirit

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Greatwide Logistics Services, Contract Freighters Inc., KLLM, Barr-Nunn Transportation, Atlas Van Lines and Mack Trucks recently donated their time and energies to charitable efforts in their respective communities.

Greatwide units recognized for logistics capabilities

In conjunction with delivery of food to provide 10,000 meals to hungry North Texans during the holiday season, Greatwide Logistics Services — a national provider of nonasset-based transportation and third-party logistics — announced that the company and its Cargo-Master freight brokerage unit are the 2007 recipients of the Logistics Partner of the Year award. The recognition is made by America’s Second Harvest-The Nation’s Food Bank Network.

Each year, America’s Second Harvest presents this award to honor one or more organizations that have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to the national network of food banks by efficiently transporting food products to where they are most needed. According to Vicki Escarra, president and chief executive officer of America’s Second Harvest, Greatwide and Cargo-Master are transportation industry leaders that have a strong commitment to community values and the fight to end hunger in America.

“The longstanding support that Greatwide and Cargo-Master have provided in the form of transportation, corporate and personal financial contributions and access to high-level logistics expertise has been tremendously helpful in providing food to millions of food-insecure Americans throughout the country,” Escarra says. “Greatwide’s willingness to make both visible and behind-the-scenes support available to America’s Second Harvest and our network of more than 200 member food banks and food-rescue organizations makes a huge difference in the lives of people all across our country.”

In 2006, Greatwide and Cargo-Master made a series of financial and service commitments to support America’s Second Harvest, and that organization’s mission to serve more than 25 million people in the United States who otherwise might go without adequate nutrition. Included in this commitment are transportation and logistics services and consultation, “Hauling to End Hunger” promotional activities, corporate financial contributions, and opportunities for employees and owner-operators to make personal donations.

Ray Greer, chairman and CEO of Greatwide Logistics Services, notes that the potential unlocked by this relationship was both logical and easy to identify. “Teaming with America’s Second Harvest is the perfect marriage of need and ability,” Greer says. “They have the need to move tons of food across the country, and we have the ability to help them do just that.”

In announcing the receipt of this recognition, Greatwide officials noted that an employee-organized drive in the company’s Dallas headquarters building generated enough food for member agencies of the Dallas-based North Texas Food Bank to provide another 10,000 meals to hungry individuals, bringing the total number of meals that the company and its employees have provided to more than 200,000 nationwide.

CFI raises $41,000 for children, seniors at Christmas

Contract Freighters Inc. raised $41,000 through an in-house raffle to purchase Christmas gifts for local children and senior citizens. Executive management personally donated prizes that were raffled to CFI employees, including a day off with pay, $250 cash and gift cards valued at $200 to various retail outlets.

Employee volunteers sold raffle tickets for $1 each. In December, CFI employees will use the proceeds for a shopping spree to purchase gifts for 100 senior citizens through the Empire District Electric Co.’s Christmas Elf Network and for 200 children through the Salvation Army.

This year, several other area organizations will benefit from the raffle. Each of the following charities will receive a one-time holiday donation of $2,566: The Bridge, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Missouri, House of Hope, Ronald McDonald House, Boys & Girls Club, Children’s Miracle Network, Joplin Family Y children’s programming, Spring River Christian Village, and Camp Barnabas.

A check presentation ceremony is scheduled as part of the December shopping spree to honor these charities for their work in the community. “Our employees raised an incredible sum of money,” says Herb Schmidt, president of Joplin, Mo.-based CFI. “This success demonstrates their generosity and commitment to helping others. We’re proud to give back to our community. It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season.”

Since the inception of Truckloads of Treasures in the mid-1990s, the fund-raiser has donated nearly $190,000 to the community. This year’s total is the most the raffle has raised in a single year.

KLLM plays Santa for afterschool care program

KLLM held its annual Christmas Celebration for children at Stewpot Community Services in Jackson, Miss. As a result of employees’ generous donations, KLLM provided gifts and a party for 61 children. Jim Richards, chief operating officer at Richland, Miss.-based KLLM, also presented the afterschool care program with $3,500 collected by the company, making KLLM’s total contribution of cash and gifts to more than $10,000.

The Dec. 6 party included decorations, food and gifts. Santa and Rudolph also are part of the celebration, and are always the highlight for the children. Kazery “Redwood” Franklin, KLLM tractor mechanic, dressed as Santa this year and presented each child at the party with a gift. Local KLLM driver Willie Taylor donned his Rudolph antlers and assisted Santa with presents. Not only did each child receive a gift at the party, KLLM has made sure all of the children will have gifts from their wishlist when they wake up Christmas morning.

Planning for the event starts months in advance with a team of KLLM employees known as the Benevolence Action Team. They coordinate everything from planning and decorating to purchasing and delivering gifts. Members of the 2007 team were Jackie Cooper, Sherice Ford, Linda Kirk, Barbara Lambert, Tammie McCue and Kathy Stacy. KLLM has worked with Stewpot to host this Christmas celebration for the last eight years.

Barr-Nunn participates in Toys-for-Tots

Barr-Nunn Transportation lent a truck for the Dec. 8 Toys-for-Tots drive held in South Bend, Ind., which took place ay the NBC Channel 6 Team studio. More than 10,000 toys were donated for underprivileged children in the community.

Toys-for-Tots is a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and aims to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year to be donated to underprivileged children for Christmas.

Barr-Nunn has partnered with the Marine Corps for the past few years, and company driver Warren Travers has been involved in Toys-for-Tots for the past four years. Travers contacted Barr-Nunn, and the company offered its truck to haul the toys.

Atlas employees raise funds for United Way

The scent of freshly popped popcorn, spicy chili and cotton candy filled the halls at Atlas Van Lines in November – all in the name of charity. Employees brought a fair atmosphere to the company as part of a weeklong campaign, raising more than $83,000 for United Way of Southwestern Indiana.

More than 300 of Atlas’ 400 employees made individual pledges, 57 percent more than last year. By pledging funds and participating in activities such as taste-testing and voting in a chili cook-off, a bake sale and a silent auction, employees raised $63,401, an average of $158 per employee.

Atlas Van Lines donated $20,000 for a grand total of $83,401. During the past three years, Atlas has raised more than $245,000 for United Way.

Seven Lehigh Valley nonprofits receive Mack Community Grants

Environmental education, infant and toddler safety, and creation of economic opportunities for families in need in the Lehigh Valley — these are goals of the projects selected for funding under the 2007 Mack Community Grants program.

The program is Mack Trucks’ signature corporate giving effort, and since 2005 has distributed more than $350,000 to nonprofit community improvement efforts in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. Proposals submitted by area nonprofits are evaluated by an employee review committee, with an emphasis on the extent to which each proposed improvement reflects Mack’s core corporate values of Quality, Safety and Care for the Environment.

Paul Vikner, Mack president and chief executive officer, notes that Mack received more than 50 proposals for 2007 funding. “Once again, our employee review committee faced a tough challenge in selecting this year’s Mack Community Grants recipients from among many excellent proposals, and on behalf of the company, I thank them for their efforts,” Vikner says. “I also want to thank all the groups who submitted proposals for funding, and wish them good luck in their efforts to improve the quality of life in our community.”

In total, the 2007 Mack Community Grants program issued $120,000 in grants to seven projects.