A recent Facebook post from Truckers Final Mile reminds us that “the holidays are not always merry or happy.”
That’s where the charity’s Sleigh Bells and Santa program comes in.
Truckers Final Mile works to reunite truck drivers and their families in the event of death, debilitating injury, or serious illness.
The campaign is open to any child age 18 or younger who lost a truck driver parent in the past year.
“It’s about giving the kids a gift to let the child know that the trucking industry still cares and to show some love for a child who lost a parent,” Robert Palm, an OOIDA life member and founder of the charity, told Land Line about the effort in 2020.
Clients of Truckers Final Mile are automatically entered in the Santa and Sleigh Bells program, but nominations by emailing SleighBells@TruckersFinalMile.org with the necessary information by Dec. 16.
The charity also will be accepting donations for the program through Dec. 19.
More information on how to donate and about the Sleigh Bells and Santa program can be found here.
A truck driver since 1981, Palm has firsthand experience with the reality of what can happen when a truck driver passes away hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home.
Palm had to recover the body of his stepbrother and fellow truck driver, Joey Miller, after his death in 1995. A year later, Palm was in a serious crash of his own. In 2010, Palm suffered a ruptured appendix and was hospitalized.
The longtime trucker said he knew there had to be a better way to help truck drivers’ families in these instances.
“The Lord spoke to me,” Palm told Land Line in 2018. “He said there’s something you have to do.” LL