It’s easy to get consumed by the holiday rush. But even with all the craziness of the holiday season, those with CDL truck driving jobs are finding time to give back and help underprivileged kids through a cause close to their hearts—Toys for Tots.
Company driver Jason Vosburgh, 39, was raised on charitable ideals. He has been committed to helping those less fortunate than himself since he was a child.
“I’m used to giving back to the community,” says Vosburgh, single father to his 7-year-old daughter, Mylee. “And when it comes to Christmastime, I know it’s just that much harder for a single parent to provide a Christmas. That’s one reason why I give everything I have for Toys for Tots.”
Vosburgh, a company driver for BTA in Fultonville, N.Y, helps organize the Convoy for Tots in Saratoga County, N.Y. The third annual event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 27. Last year’s event drew more than 200 vehicles and reaped 4,100 toys for the Capital Region Toys for Tots in Albany, N.Y.
Vosburgh, the convoy’s lead driver, is in charge of bringing owner operators, company drivers and other CDL truck drivers on board for the event—highlighted by a large caravan of tractor-trailers, squad cars and other vehicles.
“The support from the community is unbelievable. It’s absolutely amazing,” Vosburgh says of the strong turnout the event routinely receives.
At the other end of the country, in Brownsville, Texas, Cirildo Rodriguez is pitching in for the Toys for Tots campaign, too. The company driver and safety director for R.G.V. Transportation is administrator of the Facebook group South Texas Truckers for Kids. The group will participate in its fifth annual Toys for Tots drive this year on Dec. 10.
Toys for Tots is led by the Marine Corps Reserves. Rodriguez, a Marine Corps veteran, wanted to do his part. “Turnout was small the first year, but I didn’t give up,” he says. “We went out and did what we could.”
The following year, Rodriguez began preparing for the toy drive well in advance. Santa Claus showed up, along with Marines and the fire department. The group collected monetary donations and eight big boxes of toys. “I was pleased,” Rodriguez says.
When Rodriguez launched the group South Texas Truckers for Kids, it included him and a couple of his friends. Since then, the group has grown to more than 400 members, thanks to his involvement in truck shows this year. Given that growth, Rodriguez is hopeful this year’s Toys for Tots drive exceeds his fundraising goal.
“If you can make somebody smile, that’s nice. But if you can make a kid smile, that’s awesome,” Rodriguez says. “As a Marine, I feel this is part of the brotherhood I grew up with in the Marine Corps. I’ll do this for as long as I’m allowed to, for as long as there’s a breath in me.”
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Photos courtesy Cirildo Rodriguez and Jason Vosburgh