DEFIANCE — Thomas E. Keller Trucking Inc., an affiliate of Keller Logistics Group located in Defiance, recently unveiled its second charity truck in less than three years. The unveiling in May corresponded with the nationally recognized Mental Health Awareness Month.
“We didn’t want to stop after our first charity truck. In its short existence, it has already made such a positive impact on our employees and the communities we serve,” said Keller Trucking President, Jonathan Wolfrum. “Our goal is to roll out a new charity truck every couple years. It’s a great way to serve our purpose, cause and passion of delivering for our employees, customers and community.”
All Keller employees were asked once again via survey what cause or organization they’d like to see represented on their next charity truck. The responses came back in support of either mental health or suicide awareness. Keller decided to merge the two in the truck’s design and support both initiatives.
“A lot of thought and research went into it. It was a difficult thing to tastefully depict in a design. It’s a delicate subject matter that hits so close to home with so many people. I wanted to make sure to do it right,” said Keller Trucking graphic designer, Hayden Doehrmann. The overall design features a two-sided ocean storm and beach landscape signifying that there’s no storm that can’t be overcome with help, and that like life, what you see and feel will depend on your perspective.
To select a driver for this truck, Keller Trucking conducted interviews with drivers who expressed interest or passion for this cause. Sarah Cates, director of Safety for Keller Trucking, assisted in conducting the interviews.
“I knew that the search for this truck’s driver would stir up quite a few emotions due to the sensitivity of the matter. This topic affects so many people – coworkers, family members, friends – and the stories are tough to hear but that’s why we are doing this. Our biggest hope is to break the stigma and make these conversations more open and candid.”
Once interviews conclude, Keller will choose the driver they deem fit to professionally represent the company and the cause. There will be multiple drivers of the truck throughout the truck’s lifetime.
The truck has a two-part mission: the first is to donate a percentage of the revenue for every mile driven to local organizations related to the initiative; the second mission is to travel the country spreading its message of destigmatizing mental health and the conversation around it. The truck’s first order of business is in support of One Step at a Time, a local organization run by Sherri Hammersmith.
“I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this,” said Hammersmith. “Suicide awareness and prevention are so important right now, so I thank Keller for bringing attention to it.”
Keller Trucking will be the title sponsor of her organization’s annual 5k walk designed to promote mental well-being and raise suicide awareness. The truck will also make appearances at events such as these in Defiance and surrounding areas.
(Information courtesy of Thomas E. Keller Trucking.)
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