After two successful years, Trucking Santas
is at it again, ensuring less fortunate people receive holiday cheer from truckers, companies, and trucking supporters.
Trucking Santas' philosophy is simple; help those who need it, and keep it simple while doing so. The creator of Trucking Santas, Heather "Trucker's Voice" Pontruff, starts outreach in March, contacting other organizations and places of worship to get some of the most down trodden individuals possible. This includes anything from families to cerebral palsy facilities to a homeless veterans shelter.
Wish lists are made based on necessity for the family, and wants of the children. The Santas then go through the website or various group pages on social media, pick a list, shop, and directly send the gifts to the family through the embedded address on the wish list. This allows everyone to know where their money is going. The recipients then send pictures of Christmas day to Heather so that the Santas can see the good deeds done.
TRUCKING SANTAS IS NOT A NON-PROFIT!!! WE ARE A COMMUNITY PROJECT FOCUSED ON PAYING IT FORWARD AND GIVING BACK!!!
For those wanting tax deductible contributions, we ask that they seek the non-profits we adopt. For all others, we encourage them to read the stories and decide on their own where they want to spend their money.
We have four non-profit facilities and eleven families this year. Every little gift helps in ensuring that these families and facilities get the joy they deserve!
This project also helps shine the image of truckers in a better light. Instead of kids wondering what kind of a monster is in a truck, they ask their parents if it could be Santa. The parents also grow a bigger respect for truckers, one letting me know they were unaware of all the restrictions we had in their area (Richmond, VA) until she was so closely tied into a group of truckers.
A dedicated father tried everything to search for his children privately. Finally, on Matteo James' 12th birthday, a father went to social media to spread the word of his plight. Stephen James posted the following:
I want to say Happy Birthday to my son Matteo. He turns 12 today. I havent seen him and his little brother Zane in 80 days since they were kidnapped to Mexico by their biological mother and maternal grandmother. I miss them tremendously and
I know my sons miss me as well as being scared and confused. Please share this with as many people as possible in the hope that eventually Matteo or someone close to him will see this. Thank you.
The mother of the children was on a supervised visit when she took the children. It is alleged they ran to Mexico with the children. This case, however, takes legal twists and turns from there. The court granting sole custody to the father, Stephen James, is Bell County. CPS and law enforcement involvement from before the children became missing involves Williamson, Tarrant, and Bell Counties. The father lives in Williamson County, the mother lived in Tarrant County. All these municipalities, including the cities within have a hand in. Then, there are the higher ups, due to the nature of Mexico involvement. The issue within all of these municipalities is no one wants to issue the warrant. Every side is waiting for the side to do so. So, as Stephen waits, his children could be anywhere.
The pictures above are the last ones taken by their dad. The children have been missing for almost three months. Imagine if this were your child. Would you want people to scream it from the rooftops for you? If so, help Stephen by doing it for him! Help bring his boys back home. Zane will be celebrating a birthday in November. He needs to be celebrating it with his legal guardian, his Dad!
The only picture found of the mother, Alma Alicia Gomez James (aliases include Alicia Gomez, Alicia James), is not as recent. She's dropped weight, but facial recognition shouldn't be that difficult.
Un padre dedicado intentado todo para buscar a sus hijos en privado. Por último, en el cumpleaños 12 de Matteo James, un padre se fue a los medios de comunicación social para difundir la palabra de su difícil situación. Stephen James publicó lo siguiente:
Quiero decir feliz cumpleaños a mi hijo Matteo. Él cumple 12 años hoy. No he visto a él ya su hermano menor de Zane en 80 días desde que fueron secuestrados en México por su madre biológica y su abuela materna. Los extraño muchísimo y
Sé que mis hijos me echas de menos, además de ser asustado y confundido. Por favor, comparta esto con personas como posibles en la esperanza de que con el tiempo Matteo o alguien cercano a él, verán esto. Gracias.
La madre de los niños estaba en una visita supervisada cuando se llevó a los niños. Se alega que corrió a México con los niños. Este caso, sin embargo, toma giros legales y pasa de ahí. El tribunal otorga la custodia exclusiva al padre, Stephen James, es Bell County. CPS y la participación policial delante de los hijos se convirtió en falta implica Williamson, Tarrant, y los condados de Bell. El padre vive en el Condado de Travis, la madre vive en el Condado de Tarrant. Todos estos municipios, incluyendo las ciudades de tener una mano pulg Luego, están los altos mandos, debido a la naturaleza de la participación de México. La cuestión en todos estos municipios hay nadie quiere emitir la orden. Cada lado está esperando a que el lado para hacerlo. Así que, como Stephen espera, sus hijos podrían estar en cualquier parte.
Las fotos de arriba son las últimas tomadas por su padre. Los niños han desaparecido desde hace casi tres meses. Imagínese si se tratara de su hijo. ¿Te gustaría que la gente lo grita a los cuatro vientos para usted? Si es así, ayudar a Stephen al hacerlo por él! Ayude a llevar a sus hijos de vuelta a casa. Zane estará celebrando su cumpleaños en noviembre. Tiene que ser lo celebra con su tutor legal, su papá!
La imagen sólo se encuentran de la madre, Alma Alicia Gomez James (alias incluyen Alicia Gómez, Alicia James), no es tan reciente. Ella bajó de peso, pero el reconocimiento facial no debe ser tan difícil.
Trucking Companies such as Central Oregon, Kennesaw Transportation, etc............
Group such as school classes, girl scouts, 4-H, cub scouts, etc..........
These groups vary WIDELY, but all have one thing in common. A lot of those in the ranks have hearts, and a lot try to give to others for Christmas.
There is a broken system in America. This broken system affects hundreds of families. People with brand new Jaguars, even those with houses over a million dollars, receive help from the government and 501c3's. Yet, many with 10 year old cars, working and slaving every day to take care of their families, receive NOTHING.
I started a program called Trucking Santas last year as a way for truckers with hearts to give from their heart. Where I thought I had created a one time deal, the volunteers from one year always want another.
This year has been hard. Donations have been down across the board, with every non-profit and for every program that isn't a non-profit. As the economy looks bleaker, donations always seem to flatline. This year, we took on a total of 22 families and 65 cerebral palsy patients. This totalled out to 148 people total. When you consider that the median number of items each person received (based on many were children) was 12, we had a huge haul ahead of us. We had over 1776 gifts to get, including necessities like bedding, dishes, towels, etc. Not every item has been purchased as of now. We only have 65 items left. With how hard this year has been, I will be happy to close out at 65 missing items and call it a success.
A few things have happened this year, and a few things will change next year, so I will go over the changes with everyone so they will know what to be looking for.
We were attacked by a non-profit group due to the fact we weren't 501c3. I took it up for vote in between all the Santas, and they only want one thing. "Keep it simple stupid." To go non-profit would be to rearrange the entire structure of how we do it. The other Santas do not wish to see this done. So, since they're the ones spending their money for these families, they are the ones that make the financial decision.
We had a non-profit group reach out, wanting to sponsor us, but then turned tail and ran away. (I love screen shots.) We do not want sponsorship from any non-profit group. We will not pursue sponsorship from any non-profit group. We have a partnership for next year, but that is all. We work with non-profits to get families that they can't cover for Christmas, and I want to keep the working relationship just as it is.
So, as far as change goes, there will be no change as to how the program operates. It will still be me losing my mind in March to find the right families via churches, charities, and shelters. I will still make direct contact with the families, find out their exact needs, and the children's wants. I will still make separate wish lists, for the most part, where you can ship directly to the family, and know where your money is going. You can still hand deliver the items, as Thomas Heatherman, Tiffany Parker, Trucker Rich, and Vern Lampman will be doing this year. The pictures will still come in, and will still be posted on facebook, Twitter, and the Trucking Santas website. That part stays the same.
What will change is one way of doing things. There are basics every year that the families need, and the sizes, etc, are easy to know. We have several businesses willing to act as "clearing houses." They would hold the items until December, then wrap and send. Three groups have been nominated by the Santas to continue into next year. These are the cerebral palsy facility in Frederick, MD; the Mansinis in Lanexa, VA; and the Marreros in Coaldale, PA. I will be putting all three of these in a blanket list for the next year so everyone can buy throughout the year. I will also have a "hodgepodge" list to be ahead of the game for the rest of the families.
Stockings are up in there. We lost an entire stocking crew, and left it down to three others. This stressed out the other three, almost hospitalizing one. I would love to say stockings are for sure, but I can't at this current time. Cards and cookies are one of the things a lot of people love to do, and we will continue with this aspect also. (As we remind everyone, no nuts please, for I don't know all food allergies.)
I would like to say one thing to everyone who participated in this year's event. Thank you. Thank you for making these families have a Christmas they never thought would be possible. It's amazing to see a Ravens sheet set cheat death for a cerebral palsy patient, to hear a mother cry over a bedding set she's wanted for her son for years, to hear kids excited over a Christmas card.
Ever since my dad passed, I didn't celebrate the holiday season. Now, I look forward to it yearly!
This has been a melting point for as long as I know. "We want to be seen different. We want to be seen for the good hearted, loving, family people that we are." Others are angered over needless legislation being a never-ending fiasco.How do we fix it? How do we make people take us seriously and realize we aren't womanizing, alcoholic, drug riddled, one-night stand, loving people?In order to affect change, we must first change how others view us. You can't create change without reversing imagery.Last year, I took the first steps in making the outside public look at truckers different. I made a program that reaches out to people, and has truckers put in a good light. In the words of Yvonne Mansini:It has impacted my grandchildren in a very positive way, not just financially but building their confidence up that people do care. Truck drivers care, and now every time we are going down the interstate, they look at the truck drivers and say, I wonder if he is one. We pray for the truckers now and we pray for their loads and safety and families. Yes, it has made us much more aware of the truckers and the dangers in their line of work. Thank you so much!!!This is a lady who never even realized some restrictions in her area. She called me one day and informed me how unfair she thought they were, and that her grandchildren agreed with this sentiment. Why did she all of a sudden realize and care? Her grandchildren, whom her and her ailing husband are now raising, received school uniforms from truckers, food from truckers, and will have Christmas due to truckers. There's many more like them. Last year, an organization was born from one text message. That text message read, "Can you adopt my son so he can have Christmas?" In six weeks, 17 families had Christmas due to truckers and trucking supporters. This year, we have taken in 21 families, and a Cerebral palsy facility. With time running out, I'm reaching out to everyone. WE NEED HELP!!!It doesn't matter if you're a trucker or a trucking supporter. Letting these families down further hurts our image. We don't just deal with the basic wants, we also deal with the needs. We try to ensure that every family member receives four outfits, one pair of shoes, and a thing of bedding. If needed, the family receives dishes, pots & pans, towels, etc. The children get five or six toys a piece also. I update wish lists often due to the fact that items run out of stock or are bought, and I clear them out in order to make it easier to order. All wish lists are embedded with an address. If you have issues placing your order, you can always email me, and I will send you the address also. We never ask for a person to get more than they can afford, and an item or two bought is an item or two we didn't have for them before hand. At the end of the year, those that I know contributed to wish lists will be listed as a Santa, unless they wish to remain anonymous. Here's how to help:1. Mail things to the address listed.2. Grab a wish list of a family. Every family has a story. For their stories, and more information on the program, please click here.HERE ARE THE FAMILIES' WISH LISTS:(Please note! All cerebral palsy patients are just that..............patients. I'm not privy to their last names, so I used Amy Brechbiel, one of the director's, last names.)Henry family in Thayer, MissouriMiller family in Cadillac, MichiganMansini family in Lanexa, VirginiaMartin family in Thayer, MissouriSimmons family in Liberty Hill, TXMammenga family in Osceola, WIMoulton family in Powell, WYDiBartolo family in AlabamaMason family in Bradford, Arkansas. They also need an old used 53' van or reefer or decent sized shed/storage building for storage. Do you have one to spare?Cerebral palsy patients Betty, Mickey, Michael, Christina, Tad, Daniel, James, Debbie, Darryl, Tony, Gail, Steven, Joe, John, Barbara, Paul, Stephanie, Steven, Tony, Joe, Jeannie, Jimmy, Shameka, Harold, Amanda, William, Stephanie, and Joyce.Also, the cerebral palsy facility in Frederick, Maryland will be having a Christmas party. All Santas are invited. If you can make it on December 21, 2011, please RSVP here.If a child from a Trucking Santa family can rob their piggy bank of $5 to help another family, everyone can give $5. Please, take a few minutes, and help!
Those who were involved in Trucking Santas last year knows how this works. We collect no money, and will refuse your money if you offer it. You buy things for the family from a dedicated wish list, and ship them directly to the family.
We have a family that needs board games, etc. The husband is a driver and going in for knee surgery. While he's recuperating, there will be no money coming in, and the budget won't allow for extras. They know how uncomfortable it'll be without something for them and their daughter to do with their free time, so Trucking Santas has jumped in.
Karla, one of the many people that helps making Trucking Santas happen, has made the wish list for the brown family. You can access it through here. Also, if you have used games you can send and help, email me at email@example.com and I'll email you their address.