The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the trade group representing independent drivers and small-business fleets, said it will launch its 10th annual "Truckers for Troops" care package campaign from Nov. 13 through 17.
The fundraising effort raises money to pack and send care packages to service personnel stationed in combat zones. It also supports various veterans' facilities in the U.S., including those assisting or housing wounded, disabled, or homeless service members.
OOIDA said it will allocate 10 percent of dues from new and renewal memberships made next week to care packages. OOIDA will then match the 10 percent dollar for dollar. Individual tax-deductible contributions to the Truckers for Troops fund are also welcome and can be paid to the OOIDA Foundation, a nonprofit corporation, OOIDA said.
Since the program began in 2007, it has raised more than $500,000, allowing care packages to be shipped to 36,000 military personnel, OOIDA said. OOIDA is seeking addresses to send packages to, and is accepting personal cards or letters to be included inside the packages.
"We like getting handmade cards or letters from a variety of groups and individuals to include in the packages," said Norita Taylor, OOIDA's spokeswoman. "A personal note or card adds warmth to what we send."
Anyone who would like to send a care package to a family member or friend serving in a combat zone can send the name and a complete address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Senders are advised to include the recipient's projected stateside return date. OOIDA added that it is looking for veteran facilities with unmet needs.
Packages will be shipped in January or February 2018, OOIDA said.