Got any spare change?

I know that professional drivers we have all heard the phrase, “Hey trucker, I just ran out of gas, do you have any spare change?”. I can’t tell you the number of times over the past ten years someone at a truck stop or other establishment has walked up and asked me exactly the same question.

Sure I have change, but I have never given it away to someone claiming to be out of gas at a truck stop. I usually empty my pockets at the end of the day and put the few nickles, dimes, pennies and occasional quarter in a jar or the best change keeper ever invented, the cup holder! At the end of the month, I usually find a Wal-Mart or other supermarket and take my change to an automatic change counter like Coin star. I dump my change in the counter, it prints out a receipt and I use it like cash to purchase food or personal items for the truck. I would imagine I usually cash in about $50 or $60 dollars worth of coins when I do use the coin counter.

Today was different. I was walking with my bag of coins toward the front door of Wal-Mart and happened to see a brave soul, weathering freezing cold temperatures in the rain, ringing a bell in front of a red kettle. Yes, it was the Salvation Army volunteer looking for small donations of loose change from people coming out of Wal-Mart. I decided to forgo the usual this time and I approached the gentleman ringing the bell. I asked if my bag of coins would help and he was speechless. He could not believe someone would bring in so much change at one time. He was extremely thankful and said that my donation really made his day. It took us about ten minutes to shove the bag of coins into his kettle, but it was fun and rewarding at the same time!

So, men and women of the trucking industry, I challenge each and every one of you to empty your change jar or cup holder this holiday season and the next time you stop at a Wal-Mart, give a little cheer to the Salvation Army volunteer. Tell them that a trucker cares. Heaven knows that these people need the help this time of year. And I applaud Wal-Mart for allowing the Salvation Army to solicit donations in front of their stores!

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One comment

  1. Or, better yet, donate ALL your change, all year long, to the Salvation Army. Or to the homeless shelter of your choice.

    “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 NIV

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