The AIT Oklahoma Tornado Relief Truck Delivers Much-Needed Supplies
In response to the devastation left in the wake of deadly tornadoes that struck Oklahoman communities at the end of May, co-workers and customers from Seattle to Philadelphia joined together to fill the AIT Relief Truck with supplies that are now helping to ease the recovery.
Described by witnesses as a "giant black wall of destruction”, a mammoth EF5 tornado ripped through the city of Moore, Oklahoma at the end of May. For nearly 40 minutes and with winds peaking at 210 mph, the tornado cut a path through populated areas of the community. In its wake, 24 people were killed, 377 were injured and an additional 33,000 were affected when their homes were damaged or destroyed. It was the worst tornado to strike the U.S. since the deadly twister in Joplin, Missouri two years ago.
Inspired to help, AIT partnered with Shawnee Rescue Mission, an organization with the local connections to efficiently distribute donated supplies to storm survivors in need.
Monetary donations from co-workers and customers along with matching funds from AIT ownership totaled more than $5,000. The sum was used to purchase tents, box fans, air mattresses, sleeping bags, coolers and work gloves along with a variety of other supplies and non-perishable food items.
Longtime AIT trucking partner Land Air Express made the very generous gesture of transporting the consolidated 9,827 pounds of goods free astray from Chicago to Oklahoma. Jerry Schneller, the Vice President of Land Air happened to be in town just before the relief supplies shipped out. He paid a visit to AIT's global headquarters with Chuck Menini, Land Air's ORD Station Manager, to survey the skids and receive personal thanks from AIT co-workers involved in the project. While visiting, Jerry shared some Tornado Alley stories from his days growing up in Kansas. He also mentioned his folks had driven through and witnessed the destruction in Oklahoma just days after this recent tornado strike.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to the co-workers and customers from the following locations who all contributed to fill the AIT Relief Truck with much-needed supplies.
- AIT-Chicago: Numerous co-workers made donations of cash and goods. A special thank you to one Profit Analysis co-worker who brought in enough supplies to fill two E containers.
- AIT-Cleveland: A customer and vendor generously donated two pallets of bottled water (one of the most needed supplies). In addition to cash donations, co-workers added several boxes of goods bringing the total weight of their shipment to more than two tons.
- AIT-Dallas: Co-workers made donations of cash and goods while also securing a $500 check from a DFW customer.
- AIT-Minneapolis: A number of co-workers grouped together to make a lump sum cash donation.
- AIT-Orlando: One customer dropped off an awe-inspiring check in the amount of $1,000. Another also contributed $50 while co-workers collectively amassed 553 pounds of supplies.
- AIT-Philadelphia: Co-workers reached into their pockets and sent in a combined sum of cash.
- AIT-Salt Lake City: Taking advantage of timing, the SLC team encouraged attendees coming to their annual customer appreciation barbeque to bring just one item each to add to the relief effort. Customers, vendors and other industry contacts heard the call and united to accumulate a remarkable 1,500+ pounds of goods to assist with the effort. Of note, one vendor brought a $200 check and another associated business dropped off 10 cases of personal hygiene items.
- AIT-Seattle: A pallet of supplies was assembled from customer donations including bar soap, rubber gloves, paper towels, canned food, crackers and pasta.
- AIT-Tampa: Co-workers sent a skid of relief cargo via Forward Air, who transported the shipment free astray.
One of the many individuals who donated remarked, "This is such a wonderful and close to my heart contribution. It was too close to home. We are excited to be able to help out our sister state.”
Very special thanks to AIT-Chicago’s Expedited Ground Services Manager, who made an important contribution by working with Land Air Express to secure and coordinate their critical and much appreciated assistance. Thanks also to the Dock Operations Supervisor and his team for managing the incoming shipments as they arrived on the dock in Chicago.
"It was inspiring to see such an outpouring of generosity from co-workers and customers all across the nation,” said the Marketing co-worker who oversaw the project. "All told, we ended up shipping 13 pallets of supplies to our friends in Oklahoma. We are hopeful that the goods from the AIT Relief Truck will make life a little easier for the storm's survivors during their rebuilding period.”