The Log Book is a weekly rundown of human-interest stories related to the transportation industry. This week: Bendix employees build beds for local children, Women In Trucking pilot new mentorship program with LeadHER Alliance and C.H. Robinson employees kick off Robinson Cares campaign.

Bendix employees join non profit to build beds for children

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems employees recently joined forces with non profit organization Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) to build beds for less-fortunate children at Bendix’s Elyria, Ohio headquarters.

More than 90 Bendix employees helped Mickelson and SHP build 31 wooden beds to be distributed to families in need across the West Cuyahoga area. “Our employees were really enthusiastic about this project, one, because of Sleep in Heavenly Peace’s mission to benefit children in our community, and two, because it gave people a chance to interact with co-workers and colleagues again,” said Maria Gutierrez, director of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Bendix.

Luke Mickelson founded SHP in 2012 after he had constructed a number of beds at his church for families in need. The group today has 280 chapters across the U.S., Canada and Bermuda, 

SHP’s goal is to ensure that every child has a bed to sleep in. Sadly, about 3% of all U.S. children lack a safe place to sleep. 

Along with the newly crafted beds, Bendix organized a bedding donation drive and partnered with the Michigan nonprofit Fleece & Thank You to make 100 hand-tied fleece blankets to deliver with the handmade beds, including giving the surplus of donations to the Cleveland Clinic Children’s hospital.

Bendix employees work together to build beds for children in need. (Photo: Bendix)

Bendix also presented SHP Cuyahoga West chapter with a $5,000 grant to cover the costs of building the beds and for the mattresses and bedding to go along with them.

“As we are an all-volunteer organization that runs solely on donations and volunteers, Bendix’s willingness to host and sponsor this event is tremendously important to us,” said Susie Asadorian, president of the SHP local chapter. “To extend their commitment even further and help our chapter with warehouse space shows that Bendix will go the extra mile again and again for its community. The support we’ve received from Bendix is going to put a lot of kids into beds this upcoming year, so we’re thrilled.”

Taking the effort further, Bendix employees have been invited to assist in the delivery of the beds to Cuyahoga families.

“We’re so grateful for the help and support from SHP Cuyahoga West, and of course incredibly honored that Luke Mickelson spent the afternoon with us, shared his story, and saw how his work is continuing locally. We’re proud to have been a part of this wonderful cause,” said Gutierrez.

Women in Trucking launch female driver mentoring program

The nonprofit organization Women in Trucking (WIT) said it launched a mentoring program for entry-level female drivers in partnership with LeadHER Alliance, a women’s mentorship program started by nonprofit veteran Cynthia O’Neill.

The program, titled LeadHERtrucking, was inspired by a recent poll by WIT which found that 84% of female commercial drivers were not given the option to work with a mentor. Even more devastating, when given a mentor, only 3 percent were given a female mentor.

In the pilot program that started in August, new drivers will be paired with experienced female drivers for 10 months as they work together to learn about various aspects of the trucking industry. Every month, mentorship participants will join virtual meetings where industry experts will discuss challenges that women face on the road including mental health issues, financial independence and how to become a leader in a male-dominated industry.

“Providing a female mentor to be a role model and a support for new female drivers will boost their resilience, confidence, and courage to break into and succeed in a role that hasn’t always been welcoming to women,” said O’Neill. 

Once mentees graduate from the program, they will become a lifetime member of the LeadHERnetwork, giving them access to hundreds of women, across a multitude of trade industries, to continue growing their businesses and careers.

“We believe the connections and mentoring created through this support system will make a significant difference in the lives of entry-level drivers. Our goal is to decrease the percentage of drivers who leave our industry within their first 12 months. This program will give the new female driver much-needed support as they navigate this complex industry,” said Debbie Sparks, vice president of WIT.

C.H. Robinson kicks off its “Robinson Cares” annual campaign

Global logistics company C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ:CHRW) said Wednesday its annual month-long, employee-led fundraising campaign has begun raising funds for a variety of charities that the company supports throughout the year.

Every September since 1999, employees raise funds, give up their personal time volunteering, or give to campaigns of their choice. Those efforts are then matched by Robinson. In 2018, the event was opened up to employees at the company’s Asian and European offices.

Last year, employees raised $419,000 and volunteered more than 380 hours for over 400 global non-profits. Since ithe program’s inception, employees have raised over $5.9 million dollars to be matched by the C.H. Robinson foundation.

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