HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — During the stay-at-home order people have been coming up with creative ways to mark special occasions, especially when it’s not possible to be in close contact with friends or extended family members and other loved ones.
Two groups out of southwest Michigan have bonded over a shared love of trucks to help bring smiles to the faces of many children celebrating birthdays during this unusual time.
They call themselves the Almost Legal Truck Group and the Southwest Michigan Truck Rollers. Two Facebook groups who have turned their love for pickup trucks to literal pick me ups for people who see them parade past.
One little girl, Danielle, is soon celebrating her seventh birthday, her mom, Amanda Tiffany wasn’t sure how to make her daughters day special, memorable during this unique time.
“She loves trucks,” Tiffany said. “She is a little country girl and she just absolutely loves trucks. So, I asked one of my friends if she could think of anything, any way to make this more special and she said, let’s have a truck parade.”
Tiffany kept the idea and the plan a part of secret from her daughter, she was afraid to let her down if things for whatever reason fell through.
“I didn’t want to tell her cause the kids are having a hard time being disappointed with the way things are right now,” Tiffany said. “I was hoping though that it would happen; I was like hey, if you can do it that’d be awesome. Put a little smile on Danielle’s face.”
And happen it did. Seven different trucks came rolling past her driveway Saturday, seven trucks to celebrate her seventh birthday. One truck even stopped to give Danielle a card and some Barbie dolls.
“It was really neat, we could hear them all coming down the road and we brought Danielle down to the end of the driveway and she had no idea,” Tiffany said. “I was not expecting it at all, they made these cute little cards, someone gave her Barbie dolls, her favorite chocolate and stuff. It was just really neat to see them do this for these kids you know?”
At first Tiffany was worried the truckers would get in trouble for violating the stay-at-home orders, however, the truck grows make regular contact with local authorities to make sure they are given the OK to gather and travel, sometimes police officers and fire departments even join them.
“We are all in this together and we just got to stick together,” Almost Legal Truck Club member Jessie Orr said. “We take health and safety very seriously and we make sure we are socially distanced and never really leave our vehicles. We just want to make these children smile and find a reason to be happy on their birthdays, despite all the confusion and uncertainty they may be dealing with at home.”
The sentiment was certainly not lost on Tiffany who feels as though her children sometimes don’t understand exactly what’s going on during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m thankful for these groups. They don’t do this to get glory or anything. They’re just doing it to help these little kids out and that’s what matters right now,” Tiffany said. “It’s the little things, if people can do the little things that help, I think everybody will get through this and you know the kids will be OK too.”
If you would like a truck parade to appear for your child’s birthday, both groups say you can reach out to them on Facebook and make a request. They focus primarily on Barry and Allegan Counties, but say they are open to traveling across West Michigan to put a smile on your child’s face.