- 1. Introduction
- 2. How SCF Works?
- 3. Benefits Offered
- 4. Role of SCF
- 5. Participating Parties
- 6. Progress
- 7. Past Experiences
- 8. Path Ahead
- 9. Bottom-Line
Truckers are continuously facing different forms of threats as they continue to render professional services amid the pandemic-struck scenario. Besides health-based worries, several financial constraints are slowly but steadily eating into the financial reserves of the drivers while making them prone to a mental breakdown. Truckers still have to pay mortgages, monthly installments, and even have families to feed. Freight volume is at an all-time low, which is attracting the meager payouts and restricted hours of service.
Despite the government and FMCSA joining hands to make strategic modifications to the HOS, sustainability in this pandemic-induced era is still debatable. Most importantly, several drivers even met with accidents or were infected with the coronavirus while being on the road; thereby finding it almost impossible to work and put food on the table for their families.
Therefore, it is the ‘St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund’ that is raising sizeable donations, targeting injured or indisposed drivers, and helping them sustain themselves during these testing times.
How the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund Works?
To start with, a bit of background regarding this non-profit organization shall be appropriate. Here is a 12-year old organization that targets injured, sick, or unequipped truck drivers and makes sustainability easier for them. This non-profit setup aims at saving trucker families and redirects donations in a highly transparent manner.
Over the past few years, SCF has been working silently towards helping truckers but in the existing scenario, the organization has taken up the responsibilities of collecting sizeable donations for the injured and unwell drivers.
SCF or the St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund, allows drivers to attend to the medical emergencies without having to worry about pay cuts and dried up financial reserves. Started by Dave Nemo, SCF tries to make things easier for the drivers by mitigating their financial and medical hardships.
SCF makes sure that the following services are provided to the drivers and their families:
- Assistance with purchasing prescription drugs
- Shelling out direct payments to the drivers for handling medical services and emergencies
- Helping drivers negotiate medical bills with hospitals
- Financial and medical recovery assistance
Over 12 years, SCF has already extended a helping hand towards thousands of truckers who needed financial support during medical emergencies.
The Role of SCF during the Pandemic
SCF is relentlessly trying to raise donations for the commercial and semi-commercial truck drivers who are facing diverse issues due to the pandemic. For SCF, the main concern is the driver’s illness that is putting their employment and financial health in jeopardy. While SCF is urging the public to donate generously, it has also received a lot of help from some of the leading firms and freight carries. The role of donations when it comes to streamlining and improving the living conditions of the truckers is necessary as these drivers have been helping the citizens through difficult situations and without them, public sustenance would have been nearly impossible.
The main aim of this charity is to take care of all the expenses of the driver, during medical emergencies. Every aspect of livelihood, including vehicle payments, insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and utilities are covered for the time being. The help continues till the time the driver is fit and ready to hit the road.
To date, only two drivers with COVID-19 infection have approached SCF for help. The non-profit firm, however, refrains from making cash payments, directly to the drivers.
The goal for SCF is to raise something in the ballpark of $1 million for this year, as postulated by Shannon Currier, SCF director, Philanthropy and Development.
Parties that have funded the Initiative
Unlike previous years where SCF had to persuade bigger firms to put in donations, the COVID-19 crisis has united the entire trucking industry. To start with, the Pilot Company has provided $100,000 to the organization followed by similar contributions from the leading players like the Progressive Insurance and the ‘Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores’.
Apart from that, esteemed logistics service provider, C.H. Robinson has also contributed a sizeable sum of $50,000 for the cause. The cumulative amount nearly adds up to almost half of the expected sum that is to be raised by the company.
Another key player in this regard is MoLo solutions, a freight-broker that has contributed almost $62,000 to the SCF charity. The contribution comes from personal and per-load pledges.
The first step, however, was taken by PACCAR Inc. in the form of a 20,000 dollar contribution. However, apart from the bigger contributions, the charity did receive smaller yet highly significant funds from several truck manufacturers.
Some of the other prominent names that came to know about SCF and immediately extended helping hand, include OneBeacon Insurance, Pedigree Petfoods, and Citgo Petroleum.
How is Progress Looking?
The pace at which the organization is raising funds comes across with a lot of optimism. It is only a matter of time that SCF adds up one million dollars and lends a helping hand to almost every driver that is in need. Although even the public sentiments are in the favor of these donations, the larger sums from the more established firms are really come in handy.
Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns have made the public sympathetic towards the truckers. With drivers putting in massive efforts to make life comfortable for the general public, public appreciation towards them has increased by a decent margin. Not just that, there has been decent media coverage which is still spreading the word in favor of this incredible organization and its massive efforts to make life easier for the indisposed drivers.
SCF is urging individuals to look for different kinds of charities for the drivers where the funds will directly reach the ones in need. The aim of this organization has always been to unite the truckers and the entire industry concerning freight carriers, providers, logistics firms, and each one of the key players.
The Tennessee-based non-profit organization has been helping truckers for the past 13 years now. Established in 2007, the firm takes the responsibility of almost every trucker that applies for help and gets enrolled in the database. For instance, SCF helped almost 350 truckers in 2019 and even raised a massive $720,000 a few years back for funding diverse driver initiatives.
Road Ahead for SCF
The organization looks to add in more participants as it feels that funding and donations usually dry up with time. SCF expects that Q3 and Q4 might not attract a lot of donations and therefore it is at the war front to collect as much as possible.
Moreover, drivers are also playing their part by making health surveillance easier. They are adding high-end GPS tracking solutions to the trailers and trucks, which allow companies and authorities to identify their locations. The services and solution from Matrack offer fleet and human-asset tracking facilities which notify companies regarding their physical state. GPS solutions keep accidents to a minimum as real-time tracking allows drivers to stay connected with the authorities, to optimize movements.
The fundraising approach from SCF is revolutionary and is expected to help a lot of drivers in 2020. Each year the organization receives around 400 to 500 applications and ends up helping almost each one of the applicants. However, 2020 hasn’t been a good year for the truckers as they had to toil harder with lesser pay and benefits. Therefore, the target of one million is justified as SCF expects a massive surge in the number of applications due to the catastrophic effects of the global pandemic.