In an effort to further educate and fund efforts to combat human trafficking, Don Blake, Inland Kenworth – Phoenix new truck sales manager, is leading a major effort to auction a special “Everyday Heroes” Kenworth T680 Next Generation.
Proceeds from the sale of the truck will go directly to Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a 501(c)3 non-profit devoted to stopping human trafficking by educating, mobilizing, and empowering the nation’s truck drivers and rest stop employees. The project has received significant support from key sponsors Kenworth Truck Company, Inland Kenworth, and other leading companies and organizations in the trucking industry.
The Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 Next Gen is fully loaded with a 76-inch sleeper, and PACCAR Powertrain featuring a 510-hp PACCAR MX-13 engine, PACCAR TX-12 automated transmission and PACCAR DX-40 rear axles. Ritchie Bros., will host the auction of the Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 Next Gen on December 10 in Perris, California.
According to Blake, the buzz surrounding the Kenworth T680 Next Gen, combined with strong demand for new trucks, is creating excellent conditions for the auction.
“I think this year’s auction for the Everyday Heroes truck will be our best yet,” said Blake. “There’s been a lot of interest in the T680 Next Gen and we expect a good bidder turnout. The sale of the truck will likely result in TAT’s largest single donation of the year and help fund programs that make a difference.”
This will be the third Everyday Heroes Kenworth truck built and sold at auction since 2017 under Blake’s leadership. The inaugural Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 classic raised $83,000 for TAT in 2017, while the 2019 version – also a T680 classic – contributed $162,000 to the cause.
“Don’s dedication to making the world a better place and helping those in need through this project is truly inspiring,” said Jim Walenczak, Kenworth assistant general manager for sales and marketing. “We’re proud to support Don and Truckers Against Trafficking and we look forward to a successful auction.”
Blake serves on the board of directors at TAT in addition to his role at Inland Kenworth – Phoenix. He was inspired to build another Everyday Heroes truck because the number of human trafficking cases reported has accelerated and increased awareness about the crime is needed.
“Unfortunately, human traffickers are taking advantage and exploiting those who have been greatly affected by these challenging times,” said Blake. “Human trafficking cases have increased significantly, and we need to do more to help these victims and bring justice to those responsible. This Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 Next Gen truck will continue our mission to increase awareness and funding to help those in need.”
According to Kendis Paris, executive director of TAT, truckers are making a big difference in identifying and reporting possible cases of human trafficking to law enforcement. In the United States alone, profits from the crime of human trafficking are estimated to be worth $32 billion.
“Each year, more truck drivers and truck stop operators are added to the network of TAT trained and educated members – over one million to date,” said Paris. “They are our eyes and ears out on the road and are relied upon to report suspicious activity.”
So far, nearly 2,700 calls have been reported by truckers alone since the program began in 2009. Of that number, there have been 710 likely human trafficking cases identified involving nearly 1,300 victims.
Other companies providing support for the Everyday Heroes Kenworth T680 Next Gen are:
Alcoa, Arizona Trucking Association, Chevron, Davco, East Penn Batteries, Eaton Corporation, FlowBelow, GraMag, Horton, Independent Carrier Safety Association, Jost Fifth Wheel, Knight-Swift Transportation, Meritor, PACCAR Financial, PACCAR Parts, Pana-Pacific, PrePass/Help Inc., Ritchie Bros., Southwest Truck Driver Training, Tectran, The Vomela Transportation Group, Trimble, Utility Trailer Sales Company of Arizona, and WABCO.