America’s Message Of Gratitude To The Highway Heroes
Truck drivers provide for their communities every day: on a shiny summer day, on a cold winter night, through the ordinary times, and through a global pandemic. Like humble heroes behind the scenes, they make sure that our lives run smoothly: groceries delivered, medical supplies are stocked, and everything else we need is accessible to us at all times.
As our nation is going through some of the most strenuous challenges, it is inspiring to see how the trucking industry, big brands, and ordinary people from all over the country come together to celebrate, support, and give back to the truck drivers of America.
#ThankATrucker first emerged on Twitter to celebrate the 3.5 million professional truck drivers across the country who move over 11 billion tons of freight a year. It quickly became one of the top trending topics during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Twitterverse shared their collective appreciation for the highway heroes.
“Truckers are an important link keeping hospitals, grocery stores, and everything in between supplied in spite of the virus. They are moms and dads, husbands and wives. They are some of the hardest working, patriotic people in the country, moving virtually all of the goods,” tweeted Sen. Mike Enzi.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) expressed their appreciation with a tweet of their own: “On behalf of Secretary Chao and the entire Department of Transportation — THANK YOU to America’s truck drivers. You are on the front lines of our nation’s fight against this virus, and you are making America proud. Together, we will win this fight. #ThankATrucker”
Google joined in by sharing a doodle praising all packaging, shipping, and delivery workers.
From Social Pages To Real Life Actions
The #ThankATrucker campaign, and the unsung heroes it celebrates, quickly gained traction on Facebook and Instagram as well, bringing thousands of inspiring posts from trucking giants like Transport America, Walmart, Penske, and Ryder. From distributing hand sanitizers and face masks to free lunches for their drivers, trucking companies stepped up to show how much they value their employees.
Walmart shared their message of gratitude: “Help us give a BIG SHOUT OUT to all of the Truck drivers out there continuing to serve us and our Community by delivering the essential goods we need! Your on-going commitment is helping us and we can't thank all of you enough for what you're doing!”
Werner Enterprises recognized their professional drivers by distributing care packages containing first-aid kits and general cleaning wipes so that drivers could stay safe on the road. The company also provided pre-packaged lunches at multiple terminals across their network.
Anderson Trucking Service invited everyone to join their company in saying ‘Thank You’ to the brave drivers for their hard work and dedication. They created a social media page where people can send personal messages of gratitude, resulting in hundreds of responses nationwide.
Our True Colors Are Revealed In Times Of Crisis
What came as a pleasant surprise was the amount of appreciation that non-drivers shared with the trucking community. Woodland Public Schools closed the doors to their students but opened its parking lot and bathrooms for the drivers, weigh stations provided free parking spots instead of scales and dreadful inspections, DOT officers offered free food delivery to some of the hungry truckers instead of writing tickets. As a nation, we mobilized and came together to share simple, yet inspiring, acts of care.
Jack Mahar, a kindergartener from New York, chose “Driver Appreciation” for his 5th birthday theme, setting up a refreshment stand in his driveway to share snacks and beverages with local delivery drivers. Jack’s family said the drivers were grateful for the support, and for the snacks.
New Mexico Girl Scouts donated their famous cookies to every Love’s Travel Center along I-40 to thank truck drivers. The gesture might have been even sweeter than the cookies!
In Iowa, a group of young girls handed out thank you bags full of food to truck drivers at the I-80 rest stop.
“We are here to support the truckers because they don’t have a lot of food,” said 13-year-old Jadelynn Brown.
Truck drivers were touched by all gestures, big and small:
"Woke up to this at my door. This means 1000 times more than it's worth. Made my day. Thank you, kind stranger,” shared a driver from Ohio.
Some families were driving around with signs saying “God Bless Truckers” to brighten up drivers’ day: "This family rolled up beside me and put this up and waved. There’s definitely some good people left," shared Mathew Berry, a truck driver from Idaho.
Our true colors are revealed in times of a crisis, and it’s amazing to witness America shine with bright colors of unity and gratitude for those who provide us with essential goods in these uncertain times. Thank you, truck drivers, for everything you do: today and every day!