CALGARY — The 18 Wheels of Christmas campaign improved on a successful 2007 and reached its goal of delivering three trailers full of food to local food banks, as well as making a couple of special deliveries.
After getting off to a slow start, 18 Wheels was able to drop off a 53-ft and 48-ft trailer at the Edmonton’s Food Bank, as well as deliver a 53-ft trailer to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank in time for Christmas.
The donations end up totaling about 154,000 pounds, which is more than $250,000 worth of food, given back to the food banks of Alberta’s two largest cities.
An 18 Wheels run was also made in Lloydminster, Alta. – in partnership with radio station The Goat 106.1 FM – and the final results haven’t been tabulated yet, but initial reports say the donations are similar to last year’s $25,000 worth of food.
Donating companies make it onto Santa’s ‘nice’ list and are on display for a full year as the 18 Wheels of Christmas trailer heads back into regular service.
“Every year around Dec. 3 we think we’re going to bomb and then by the 19th we’re just thrilled,” says Colleen Nickel, one of the campaign’s organizers. “This is just the second year Edmonton’s been in full swing and they did just a wonderful job.”
Although it was just the second year the campaign ran in Edmonton, 2008 was the sixth year for 18 Wheels of Christmas. The concept was developed by a couple of employees of Rosenau Transport’s Calgary terminal. The carrier donated a trailer to make the rounds collecting food donations and make the delivery to the food bank.
All companies who participate have their names decaled to the side of the special trailer and then it goes back into regular service throughout the year.
The campaign was designed to provide the trucking industry with a meaningful way to give back to the communities in which they live and work. And this year, the campaign was able to do a little bit extra.
In addition to the 53-ft trailer delivered to the food bank in Calgary, 18 Wheels provided three skids of personal toiletries to the Mustard Seed, which is a shelter catering to Calgary’s homeless, and provided 48 turkeys for radio station Vibe 98.5’s Toyurkey Drive (donations of frozen turkeys or toys).
“It’s really diversifying the way it should be,” notes Nickel. “18 Wheels can be whatever other organizations need it to be, whether it’s collecting toys, or food, or whatever.”
“We’re looking forward to next year and getting bigger,” she adds.