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Big bucks for truckers down on their luck
$10K scholarship to retrain truckers no longer able to drive for health reasons

 

The life of the long-haul trucker portrayed in movies and television is akin to that of the plaid-shirted cowboy, rugged individuals shepherding the American way safely through the night on pride and a thermos full of strong truck stop coffee. That’s how it is with heroes. We don’t like to think of Superman in a wheelchair, or the wounded warrior. The truth is that life on the road comes with a high risk of obesity. And career-ending health conditions are silent passengers in this demanding and largely sedentary life. An estimated 86 percent of drivers are overweight, according to the American Dietetic Association, and 70 percent suffer from obesity-related health problems – including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and sleep disorders that can lead to their commercial driving privileges being revoked for public safety reasons. Truckers, who can no longer drive for health reasons, need to find some other means to support their families. The St. Christopher Truckers Development & Relief Fund (SCF), with financial support from TBS Factoring Service of Oklahoma City, a family business serving independent truckers, has created the TBS Factoring Service Trade School Scholarship to address this important need. The $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to a former professional truck driver who is no longer able to drive professionally due to medical problems. We need help to get the word out to disabled truckers, who might not be reached through our traditional trucker media – owing to the fact that they no longer read trucker media or visit truck stops. The scholarship application deadline has been extended to March 1st. The SCF Board of Directors will oversee the scholarship and allocate the $10,000 to the trade school of the chosen applicant, upon confirmation of enrollment. The scholarship winner will be announced at the Mid-American Trucking Show, March 22, 2013. Dr. Donna Kennedy, Executive Director of the SCF, stated that “We often have applicants who will never be able to drive again due to a medical condition, such as being an insulin-dependent diabetic. However, these individuals are fully capable of earning a living by other means. We want to help them along by offering an opportunity to go to school to learn another trade. We are excited to be able to broaden our mission of helping drivers in need.” The SCF was founded in late 2007 as a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization. The SCF’s mission is to provide assistance to professional truck drivers whose medical problems have led to financial hardship. The SCF also conducts health research to benefit professional drivers and the trucking industry. To date, the Fund has been able to provide over $322,700.00 in financial assistance to more than 714 drivers. Assistance has been in the form of direct payment for household expenses, prescriptions, and medical bills. 
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