In response to the ongoing needs in Haiti, construction equipment manufacturer JCB today announced its Backhoe Across America charity drive, a national initiative in partnership with the American Red Cross.
The cross-country campaign features a JCB 3CX backhoe loader, which will travel from Georgia to California to help raise the still-needed funds that will be critical to Haiti’s long-term rebuilding efforts.
With a fundraising goal of $1 million, JCB will donate all monies raised during the 26-day road trip directly to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Fund. Those who wish to make a donation to the Backhoe Across America charity drive can either visit one of the 11 route stops or go to www.JCBforHaiti.com.
No ordinary road trip
The JCB 3CX backhoe loader will begin its coast-to-coast trek from the beach at Tybee Island, Ga., on Friday, March 26, 2010. The backhoe then will travel more than 3,000 miles across the U.S., making fundraising “pit stops” at JCB dealerships in nine cities along the way, before reaching its final destination – the beach at California’s Santa Monica Pier – on April 20, 2010.
“Haiti’s road to recovery will be long and difficult,” said John Patterson, chairman and CEO, JCB Inc., said in a press release. “On behalf of everyone at JCB, we hope that the miles traveled and donations secured during Backhoe Across America will help ease the burden of the journey that lies ahead for this devastated nation.”
No ordinary driver
JCB veteran employee Neil Smith will be the man behind the wheel as the backhoe makes its way across America. When Neil was growing up in Rocester, England, he walked by a large factory on his way to school each and every day. That factory was JCB’s World Headquarters. Not surprisingly, Neil dreamed of operating JCB’s signature bright yellow machines – but he had no way of knowing that the family-owned manufacturer would play a major role in his life for many years to come.
Now in his 37th year with JCB, Neil will operate the 3CX machine from start to finish, traveling at speeds up to 30mph on secondary roads, which, by law, must be used throughout the trek due to the backhoe’s maximum speed limitations.