Truck Pull 2

Carter Express long has made a habit of giving back to the local community. It routinely gives to charity through Wreaths Across America, food drives, fundraising dinners and the United Way.

On Aug. 27, Carter Express will be pitching in for the United Way again.

That’s when the Anderson, Ind.-based trucking company participate in the 3rd Annual United Way Human Truck Pull.

As the event’s chief sponsor, about 55 Carter employees typically partake in the truck pull every year, from truck drivers to in-house staff, says Jessica Warnke, director of marketing and communications for Carter.

Guns and buns“We’ve always been big supporters of the United Way, so when the United Way came to us a few years ago and asked us to support the event, we thought it sounded like a good way to get the community involved,” she says.

As a company, Carter Express donated $5,000 annually to the cause.

That’s in addition to the contributions its staff and drivers donated individually for participating in the pull.

“It’s just a fun event,” says Warnke, who organizes volunteers and helps plan the event. “Personally, I like the idea of bringing the community together to support an organization like the United Way. I always have a blast at the event, and it’s been personally gratifying.”

Pitching In for a Cause

Teams of 10 men or 12 men and women compete in the truck pull. Two teams at a time go head to head against each other, trying to pull the 30,000-pound truck-and-trailer combination 125 feet for a chance to win prizes. To participate, each team must donate at least $500 to the United Way.

Susan and Lowell Mitchell

Susan and Lowell Mitchell

Carter Express team drivers Lowell and Susan Mitchell, a married couple who have driven together for 10 years, have participated in the United Way truck pull every year, steering the trucks that competitors pull.

“I’m always happy to do something for a good cause,” Susan Mitchell says. “I hope the truck pull brings awareness about what United Way does for people. People at the event give great testimonies about what United Way has done for them. You don’t always think about that. They are definitely a help to people.”

When steering the truck for the truck pull, the Mitchells must be aware of people’s safety, just as they would be on the road. But the event is entertaining and full of levity, Lowell Mitchell adds.

“It’s a fun day,” he says. “We enjoy doing it. As truck drivers, we try to be givers more than receivers.”

Truck pull 1

Kim Williams, vice president, resource development for the United Way of Madison County, says the organization has set a fundraising goal of $40,000 for this year’s truck pull. Last year’s event brought in $13,000 for Madison County, but for the first time this year, the truck pull also will benefit nearby Delaware County. “We would love for each chapter to walk away with $20,000,” Williams says.

The fundraiser features food trucks, vendors and a kids cab pull.

People who benefited from the United Way share their stories, too. In that regard, “the truck pull helps put a face to what we do,” Williams says. While the United Way always focuses on income, education or health, the organization’s aims differ from community to community, depending on residents’ needs. In Madison County, the United Way alleviates poverty. In Delaware County, it focuses on youth education.

“One of the goals of this event is to connect with folks that we normally don’t connect with during the year,” Williams says. “This helps us better connect with the community and invite them to join with us. We bring people and organizations together to inspire change.”

The 3rd Annual United Way Truck Pull takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Anderson Airport in Anderson, Ind. All proceeds benefit the United Way of Madison and Delaware Counties. For more information, visit

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All photos courtesy of United Way except the one courtesy of Susan and Lowell Mitchell.


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