ST. CHRISTOPHER TRUCKERS DEVELOPMENT & RELIEF FUND CARES ABOUT DRIVERS: DO YOU?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Donna Kennedy, Ph.D. St. Christopher Fund

865-202-9428 director@truckersfund.org

ST. CHRISTOPHER TRUCKERS DEVELOPMENT & RELIEF FUND CARES ABOUT DRIVERS: DO YOU?

Drivers in Need More Than Ever

Knoxville, TN, October 8, 2014 – You may have heard that TravelCenters of Americas’ Band Together campaign had another successful year, bringing in $286,016.20 from August 1st- September 14th. But what you probably haven’t heard is that the St. Christopher Fund (SCF) has already given over $204,000 in assistance this year. Of this, $73,922 has been provided to drivers in need just since Band Together started. An additional $10,200 has been approved, meaning the SCF is just waiting on the bills to come in.

The SCF receives 30-45 applications for assistance each month. Applicants have a wide range of medical issues, everything from broken ankles to terminal cancer. The top 3 issues affecting our applicants are cardiovascular related, orthopedic issues (such as broken bones) and cancer. The average age of those with cardiovascular issues is 52, orthopedic is 48, and cancer is 53. The average age of all applicants is 50; too young to retire or to get social security. “I’m seeing younger and younger drivers with serious, debilitating medical issues that will take them off the road for good. But, most of the time, this doesn’t have to be the outcome: drivers need to get healthier, make better choices, and start taking care of themselves” said Dr. John McElligott, the Fund’s Medical Review Officer.

The majority of applicants have no health insurance or accident insurance, short-term or long-term disability, or money in savings, so when a medical event takes them off the road, it’s financially catastrophic. Executive Director, Dr. Donna Kennedy notes that, “We see case after case where a medical problem has led to foreclosure on a home, repossession of a vehicle, and months of no electricity. These issues can happen even with something as simple as a broken leg. It’s disheartening to see these hard-working drivers become devastated so quickly when they get sick or injured. Our hope is that we can put some programs in place to help drivers on the front-end, as well as with relief when it’s needed.” Some of the programs the SCF is trying to fund include:

providing free flu shots, mammograms, and A1c testing, a health and wellness reward program, and educational programs on various health, financial and insurance issues.

In order to start these programs and to continue helping drivers, more funding is needed. Shannon Currier, Director of Philanthropy & Development states, “The Band Together campaign provides most of our donations but we’re on track to have spent all of those funds on drivers by the end of the year. We can’t keep up with demand until more companies come on board as supporters.” More than 80% of St. Christopher Fund donations come from individuals, so drivers are doing their part. Of the 578 known companies beneficiaries worked for, only 2 have ever contributed funds. The SCF helps drivers get back to work, which is beneficial to the driver, the company, and the economy in general. It is the hope of the SCF that companies will see the value of the Fund, and that they will contribute to the cause.

About St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund

The St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF) is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to professional truck drivers who have medical problems and are in need of financial assistance. Assistance may be in the form of direct payment for medical services, prescription drugs, and household with expenses while recovering from illness or injury.

For more information, please visit www.truckersfund.org, call 865-202-9428, or email contact@truckersfund.org.

The SCF is also working to provide programs that will benefit professional drivers and the trucking industry.

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