Our minds have infinite imagination. Words effectively and artfully aligned can move us powerfully as we imagine, or picture, a scenario unfolding. That’s how books have “unlimited budgets”—grander than anything Hollywood could muster. In the reader’s eye, action plays out on a boundless platform.

Still, there’s nothing quite like actually “seeing it” with our eyes to move our hearts and stir our souls. This truth was reinforced recently when I heard about the compassionate actions of a group of truckers who responded to a request from Michigan State Police.

Watch this video clip, and see if emotions don’t well up as you see a trucker fill in the final gap of an ad hoc life-saving process:


The back-story:

On April 24th, a man was considering committing suicide over the Interstate 696 overpass in Huntington Woods, Mich. That’s when police put the call out to an often-unheralded group of heroes in our midst: truck drivers.

As officers directed traffic off the freeway system, they enlisted truckers to park beneath the overpass. That maneuver reduced the distraught man’s potential fall, whether he lost his grip or decided to jump.

For three hours, 13 of those tractor trailers stood sentry beneath that overpass. Finally, negotiators talked the man into their arms and to safety.

Cumulatively, those truck drivers sacrificed 39 hours of travel and invited, at minimum, myriad forms of professional and personal inconvenience. Their generosity of spirit echoes what I have heard for years from Leslie Allison-Seei and Greg Seei, the creative forces behind Robust Promotions, one of the top promotion marketing agencies in the nation.

Robust specializes in promotions and sweepstakes, from the restaurant industry to a variety of other business sectors. One of their clients, Travel Centers of America, has retained them to manage a nomination and recognition process for its TA/Petro Citizen Driver Awards.

Since the awards’ 2014 inception, 31 men and women have been selected—with hundreds of other nominees also reflecting the compassionate selflessness embodied by those 13 drivers in Michigan.

As Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said after the life-saving support in April:

“We’ve never been turned down by a truck driver. The trucking community is always very good to law enforcement. They report a lot of things that’s happening on the freeway to us. Every time we ask, the response is ‘absolutely.’”

Next time you see a truck driver—and chances are, it won’t be long—be sure to give them a thumbs-up for the above-and-beyond role they quietly play in our daily lives.

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A Bounce-Back PR Tale, In More Ways Than One
On the Heels of ‘Flight,’ Remembering My Encounter With Real-Life Hero Denny Fitch


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