Just over three weeks since its arrival in the parking lot of Trinity Lutheran Church, a 53-foot trailer donated by Burgener Contract Carriers of Merrill departed Sunday for Houston, Texas, loaded to the doors with donations for Hurricane Harvey victims. Final loading began at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon with the help of MHS athletes and wrapped up just before 2:30 p.m.
As church treasurer Sandy Schneider explains, the idea for collecting donations to send to Texas originated shortly after Harvey slammed into the Texas coast; flooding and battering local communities on Aug. 23.
“I have a daughter in Texas whose home was affected by the flooding and I felt we could help in some way. People from all around the country were banding together to send supplies down there. After all the out pouring of support we received as a community following the tornado that hit in 2011, I felt this would be a chance for Merrill to now give back and help another community in need.”
That is when Schneider reached out to church congregation members and owners of Burgener Contract Carriers, Kathy and Mike Neumann.
“Sandy asked us if we could help out with a trailer and a truck to haul donations and we were more than happy to help,” Kathy said with a smile, as she glanced up at volunteers loading the final pallet of supplies into the trailer Sunday afternoon. “The community really came together to help out another community in need. We are proud to do our part.”
As fate would have it, the generosity and effort of all involved comes on the heels of the company’s 40th anniversary. Kathy’s parents, Bill Sr. and Marilyn, founded Burgener Contract Carriers in September of 1977.
Following a send-off dinner and prayer, after the final pallet of supplies boarded the trailer, Kathy’s brother Bill Jr. and his 2014 Volvo semi tractor, hooked up the donation trailer and were Houston-bound as of Sunday evening. Bill Burgener Jr. indicated the trip was approximately 1,300 miles, with an estimated arrival in Houston Wednesday morning.
As of Monday afternoon, Burgener Contract Carriers reported that Bill’s trip was going well and he was currently passing through Missouri.
“The community should know that everyone in Merrill and surrounding areas came together to help others in need,” Schneider said. “We had donations of all sorts come in from all over. In fact, the Plover Police Department had gathered supplies to send as part of their own fundraiser but ran out of room. They ended up bringing what they had left over and putting it on our truck. This community has proven they are willing to pull together to help each other and today they are doing the same for another community, which is wonderful.”