By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm
A while back, we read a Facebook post that asked people what they did on their time off. Some of the answers were really impressive. Many involved volunteering. That got us thinking about some ideas we could share with you of things you could do to help others.
Lately it seems that there are more people standing on street corners begging for money or food. I have a niece who lives in the Phoenix area. She recently took her two young children with her to pass out food and water to people in their community who are in need. She wanted to teach them that not everyone is as fortunate, or as blessed as they are and they need to learn to share their blessings. What an inspiration!
We’ve read about women who crochet or knit and donate hats they’ve made to cancer patients who lose their hair. Some give hats to preemie babies or to the homeless. What little thing could we do to make a huge difference in another person’s life?
Instead of giving someone money, how about giving a lunch sack with something simple like a peanut butter sandwich, a little bag of chips and a bottle of water? And if that person has a dog with them maybe have another baggie full of dog food and give them a second bottle of water? That animal may be the only companionship this person has. Don’t be too quick to judge you don’t know what may have happened for someone to be in that situation…
When it’s cold out, maybe you could keep a few small fleece blankets on hand? Make a day of going to the local thrift stores when you are home or laid over and pick up some winter scarves, mittens and hats. These things could be priceless to the people you share them with. You can carry quite a few of these items in your truck without using up all of your storage space and without spending a huge amount of money.
Years ago, at a dock in Oakland, there was a homeless man where we were delivering. I took him to the lunch truck and told him he could have whatever he wanted and I would pay for it. I will never forget how polite he was and asked if each thing he got was ok. He got a meal, something to drink and a snack for later. He was not there begging for money and he appreciated the food.
The “pay it forward” idea has also become very popular. One day when I went through the Oklahoma toll booth, the lady working the booth said that a driver in front of me had given her $20.00 and told her to use it until it was gone for the drivers behind him. It was only a $4.00 toll, but it still made my day!
Get creative with showing kindness to others. It doesn’t cost anything to say hello or give a wave to another driver. We see so much hate and negativity on the news and maybe even in person. If each of us would work a little bit harder at being kind and sharing, it may just become contagious and help to make our world a better place! Smiles are free and my favorite saying has always been, “If you see a man today without a smile, give him one of yours.”
We drivers could get out of our truck and help watch for the trailer for a driver who is backing into a tight space. When a new driver asks you a question, help them out instead of giving them a sarcastic response. If you’ve been driving a long time, share your knowledge.
The other day in a parking lot there was a trainer with three students. They were admiring our trucks and we chatted with them. The trainer was so nice and he really loved our trucks and appreciated the time we took to talk to his students. We hope that we inspired them to work hard and a goal to work toward in their careers.
If you can’t hand out lunches, knit hats or pass out blankets, be that driver who takes a few minutes to be nice to another driver. We all know how stressful and challenging it can be on the road. A joke to make us laugh or a friendly hello can help make a crummy day better.
Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!
Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.