One thing I've learned in the past two-plus decades of covering this business is that most truckers have a big heart, and that goes for the entire industry, as well -- drivers, companies, dealers, manufacturers, you name it.

Never is this so much in evidence as it is during the holidays. I wanted to share just a few of the press releases and articles that have come through my email this holiday season -- and this is just the ones that are publicizing what they do. There are many, many more who quietly go about their giving, and here's a big thank-you to all for what you do.

Getloaded Helps Homeless

Getloaded, a leading logistics freight matching website, sent a team of volunteers to help connect homeless adults in Richmond, Va., with valuable medical and social services at a unique national service event.

Project Homeless Connect mobilizes dozens of service providers to relocate their operations to a centralized location for a day to provide free, dedicated aid to hundreds of homeless clients. An overarching goal of the event is to eliminate some of the barriers homeless people experience as they seek access to the very services that might help them start the return journey to stable lives.

The Getloaded team joined hundreds of other volunteers to help more than 480 homeless clients connect with more than 40 on-site services, including medical, dental and vision screenings, mental health interviews, identification services, employment resources shelter and housing assessments, and much more.

Upfitter Steps Up

Auto Truck Group, an upfitter in Bartlett, Ill., raised and donated more than $60,000 to the
United Way. It also served as a donation site for the DuPage County chapter of Toys for Tots and donated more than 1,000 toy trucks to the organization on behalf of customers and employees.

In 2012, Auto Truck Group experienced tremendous growth, and that is due in no small part to the local communities in which we operate, says Auto Truck president Jim Dondlinger. Despite this still challenging economy, we have been fortunate enough to be able to assist in giving back to those that have supported us throughout the year, and we hope that in doing so, all of us can have a happy, healthy holiday season.

United at Peterbilt

Peterbilt presented a $346,464 donation to the United Way of Denton County.

Peterbilt is extremely proud of its employees and their dedication to continue to help improve the lives of those in our community, says Bill Kozek, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. This year, our employees generous contributions raised a record-setting amount through several fundraising activities.

As the largest corporate contributor to the United Way of Denton County, Peterbilt has donated more than $2 million dollars over the last six years.

Denton County is the 9th largest in Texas, and the City of Denton is the 7th fastest growing community in the nation, according to Henderson.