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Giving Orange: Associate donations helped a driver in need

The roof caves in on what remains of a severely fire-damaged house

Each spring and winter the Schneider Foundation organizes Giving Orange collections to raise funds to support Schneider associates who suffer an extreme, unavoidable, unexpected loss that causes financial hardship.

In 2019, there were 22 such associates who received support through Giving Orange.

Giving Orange funds are raised through “Casual for a Cause” events like “Hoodies for the Holidays” in which associates give to the fund in exchange for wearing casual clothes at work. Of course, it’s more about the cause than the clothes!

Here’s one of the inspiring stories from last year’s Giving Orange efforts.

Bulk Intermodal driver lost home to Christmas house fire

Curtis, a Bulk Intermodal driver, left his home in Jackson, Miss., to celebrate Christmas in New Orleans, and he thought it was going to be a fun, joyful way of spending the holidays.

Schneider driver, Curtis

However, on Christmas morning at 7 a.m. a neighbor called to say Curtis’ house was on fire and first responders were on the scene.

As Curtis explained, “It was a shock to get that call – it’s not what you’re expecting. I couldn’t believe it.”

By the time he and his girlfriend made it back, the house and all its contents had been reduced to ashes.

“I’m just so grateful that nobody was there at the time – there’s no telling how it might have turned out,” Curtis added.

The roof caves in on what remains of a severely fire-damaged house

The pair were left to sift through the wreckage and see if there was anything to salvage. Unfortunately, what hadn’t been damaged by the smoke and flames was damaged by the water used to quell the fire. Other than a few family photos, there wasn’t much left. The only clothing Curtis had that wasn’t damaged were items he happened to have in his Schneider truck.

“The only other thing I have is the Saints flag that was hanging in front of my house, so that’s good!” Curtis joked.

Schneider’s rapid response to a driver in need

Curtis called his leader, Don Moore, to let him know what had happened, and as Curtis described it, “Don was great – really understanding that I might need some flexibility with my schedule. Schneider has been great through all of this.”

After the fire, Curtis and his girlfriend stayed at a hotel provided by the insurance company (who determined that it was an electrical fire, probably caused by some cords that were too close to an electric heater), and they are slowly trying to piece back together their lives.

With that goal in mind, Don took the extra step of nominating Curtis to receive Giving Orange funds. Those gifts come directly from the donations associates make through efforts like December’s “Hoodies for the Holidays” collection.

A hooded figure in red sports a big white "Santa" beard with text, "Hoodies for the Holidays December 2 to 31. Support giving orange."

Because of associates’ generosity, the Foundation was able to help Curtis get back on his feet.

Curtis expressed his appreciation when he heard he’d be receiving Giving Orange funds:

“I want to thank Schneider folks for being selfless and thinking of other people. Please know, I wouldn’t hesitate to help you, too! I have to be honest, I have tears in my eyes right now. I am just speechless. THANK YOU!”

Many ways to make a difference

Giving Orange is one of seven ways that Schneider and its associate give back to the community. Check out all the charitable giving blog posts for more inspiring stories, including how charitable giving topped $1.5 million last year.

About the author
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Schneider Guy loves the "Big Orange." He's passionate about the trucking industry and connecting people to rewarding careers within it. He's been the eyes and ears of our company since our founding in 1935, and he's excited to interact with prospective and current Schneider associates through "A Slice of Orange."

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