Fox17 News in Nashville, TN, tells the story of truck drivers and their special helpers during this COVID19 pandemic. Marketplace Chaplains are proud of our chaplains who are creatively caring for and supporting these hardworking truck drivers faithfully delivering materials, food and products for the rest of us.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — When you walk in the store during this pandemic to get essentials, you probably don’t give much thought to how all that stuff wound up on the shelves.
Most truckers have barely been home.
They are in many ways, the forgotten front line.
Though the White House has celebrated American truckers during this pandemic., trucker Tory Campbell doesn’t want any special attention. The Shelbyville man just wants to get you what you need.
“You’re delivering the materials to keep the ambulance drivers going and keep these manufacturers going and you’re delivering PPE,” Campbell said.
Still, it can be lonely. Campbell says, “Sometimes you can feel forgotten.”
Even more during this pandemic.
Campbell paints a pretty vivid picture of what it’s like out there on the road.
“First of all, there’s no places for us to stop and really eat, wash our hands, no places to use the bathroom,” Campbell said. “You can’t go through the drive-through to get a burger to get you something to eat. So, everybody shut down, so what can you do?”
David Coffey of Nationwide Express, a third generation US trucking company in Shelbyville, is his boss.
“The stress levels have gone up. Are they going to do something that could endanger their livelihood or their very lives or bring something home to their families?” said Coffey. “That’s a lot of pressure when you’re just trying to wash your hands or find something to drink or to eat to have to take on that responsibility is a real challenge.”
However, there’s a secret group keeping them rolling.
Jeris Hamm is one of them.
“As southern women we don’t know what to do,” Hamm said. “So, we think we should write a thank you note. So, that’s what I did!”
Hamm is a Marketplace Chaplain, in essence, chaplains for US businesses.
She started writing dozens and dozens of thank you notes and just like truckers, she didn’t stop. She read one of her letters to FOX 17 News.
“Dear Tory, thank you for delivering goods for our homes, businesses and hospitals. You are a hero on the road which I really think they are. You are in my prayers for safety and good health and blessings.”
Campbell said the encouragement helps keep him going.
“There’s always somebody giving you a call, sending you a message, keeping you encouraged,” Campbell said.
Hamm keeps 114 truck drivers going.
“I get to come alongside them and strengthen them,” Hamm said.
Charles Britt’s been doing this for 17 years.
“One of them said, ‘I don’t have a place to go.’ He’s sleeping in his truck. They just have so many extra needs now,” Britt said. “I get to call these men all over the country.”
And the stories, Britt has hundreds of them.
“One of them told me just this past week—he calls me Charlie Chaplin—and he said, ‘Charlie, you’re my best friend.’ Oh that made my day because to think that I’ve never met him. I love that about the ministry. I’m their friend and I’m one of them’s best friend,” Britt said.
Angels among us sending a daily dose of love to the forgotten frontline.
“It’s just a breath of fresh air. You know, for somebody to put back into you what you give so much of to others,” Britt said.