TruckofLove

Truck of Love Ministries Newsletter Archive (Click here to view the current Truck of Love newsletter.)

Would you like to be placed on our mailing list and receive the Truck of Love newsletter?  Please contact us!

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

 

June 2016

Dear Friends,

What does it cost to save a life?

We have been in many situations through the years when, for lack of a few dollars we have witnessed people suffering illness, homelessness, and hunger.

The past seven weeks we have once again been confronted with the cost of human life. It became a battle of the checkbook, but involved so much more.

Picture a couple: the man is 25 and the woman is 35. They have each been in prison. They are homeless, hungry, and scared.

On March 15, 2016, they tentatively walked into the Parish Outreach Office where Sue volunteers. Their convoluted story spilling out, we witnessed two people who have been to Hell and who want to make their lives right. They understand each other’s struggles and are a loving support for each other. They believe their strength comes from God.

One of our volunteers knew of a place that would hire felons. We took them for an interview and they each got a job. They were ecstatic that their starting wage is $9.00 per hour. A friend bought them work boots and they began work on that Thursday. Our volunteers drove them the twenty miles to work and picked them up after work. They were staying with her sister.

That Sunday they came to church just like they said they would, but they were unkempt and looked very discouraged. We took them to breakfast to listen to their story.

There had been trouble at her sisters; and knowing that they were in jeopardy of going back to jail if they were in that environment, they had walked to a friend’s house. It was late and everyone was asleep. They curled up on the front porch where the friend found them in the chilly hours of the early morning. They asked the friend if they could leave their few belongings with him while they went to church.

We made the decision to put them in a motel because they had just started working and they had no safe place to stay. We thought it would be only a few nights. Surely we could find a place for them to live.

But we found that some agencies would not rent to felons and other agencies pointed to their bad credit ratings. We kept renewing their room at the motel where they stayed for forty-nine long nights; until May 8, Mother’s Day, when a parishioner agreed to give them a chance. They are now in a clean one bedroom house that is fully furnished. They got up at 5am on Monday and a volunteer picked them up at their new home so they could be at work by starting time at 6:30am.

The following week we picked up the title to a 1992 automobile that is donated for them. Now they are driving themselves to and from their job. Having their own car enables them to work as many overtime hours as they can get.

We are working with them on budgeting. Their new landlady was wise to give them a lease that can be paid bi-weekly when they receive their paychecks. They have allotted $75 a week for food and were delighted when their first weeks shopping day totaled only $56. They owed $1500 in court and probation fees. They just paid $510 of their hard earned salaries to reduce that debt.

What has it cost us to try to help save two lives? A whole lot of money and a whole lot of time and even more prayer.

What have they done to help themselves? They have gotten up at 5am six mornings a week and worked some nights until 10pm. They have done this in spite of feet that hurt, backs that ache, and families that are jealous of their good fortune. They have cooperated with every suggestion we have made. They have had some setbacks, but they have come through them with determination and new energy.

We’re not done yet. They still need guidance with finances and life situations. They continue to come to church and they know they must surround themselves with people who will be a good influence.

During this same seven weeks Pete has been downsizing the community in the woods. The people who call the woods their home do so because they are out of options. Loss of jobs, inability to get work, fear of society, or past indiscretions drive people to desperate places. Over the past few months Pete has been encouraging the woodland residents to make contact with friends or family to see if there is any way they can reconnect and begin new lives away from the harshness of the elements.

At one time there were forty three men, women, and children who called this area of the woods their home. We have sent many on to better lives, but they have been replaced by new arrivals. The number stayed constant for the past three years. They have worked, prayed, lived, and died here. We have witnessed the power of prayer as each person confronted their own demons and decided to face whatever issues may have caused them to live this harsh existence.

Today there only eight adults living in this spot in the woods. Four of these are making plans to reunite with friends, jobs, and homes. By the end of the summer there will be four souls left who seem to believe this is their best option in life.

It’s taken a lot of preparation and planning to move our friends on to a better life. It has cost many thousands of dollars. To us life is priceless.

Thank you for taking part in this work. You have been an integral part of these stories. We wish you could experience our joy as we witness people who are lifted out of desperation with a safe place to stay, a meal after a long day of work, or a bus ticket to a new life that they know will be better than where they have been. Please pray for those helped by Truck of Love and for all the marginalized people in our society.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

This is the 30 th summer of the TOTOL (Tohono O’odham Truck of Love) day camp in PisinMo’o, Arizona. It is now run by the O’odham, but we try to help support it financially. If you wish to donate to this camp which serves over 250 O’odham, please make a note on your check.

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 2016

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continued support with your prayers, your checks, and the wonderful words that you send us. We are encouraged by your generosity toward this work we call Truck of Love.

It is definitely our privilege to be part of the life journey of the people helped by Truck of Love. Sometimes people come and go quickly, but at times we build relationships that enable us to watch the unfolding of God’s grace in someone’s life. To see how a person opens themselves to new possibilities as they forgive themselves and those who have caused them pain.

Every weekday finds Pete climbing into his truck to journey toward the woods where there are now nineteen people trying to survive in the cold and wet. It was 17 degrees this morning and when he arrived he found people wrapped in blankets and tarps starting their day. They mill around until the oatmeal is cooked and after eating, they go about their work. Three go off to wash windows, three ride bikes to a local motel to clean rooms, and the rest clean up the camp area and venture down the road to start the routine of picking up garbage and recyclables. Because of your donations we are able to pay them the $1 per bag of garbage they gather. They receive additional money by selling the bottles and cans. Surviving the winter in the cold and damp is very hard.

For several weeks one of the couples, Roy and Agnes, have been talking with Pete about going home to Utah.

They have been living with this community in the woods since 2012. Roy and Agnes, in their mid-forties, are good strong workers. Like so many, they hitch hiked to South Carolina looking for work. Finding none they ended up in the woods subsisting from day to day.

Every couple of weeks Roy has been calling to talk with his sister, Ruby. She has been pestering him to come home to help her on the family sheep ranch that is a thousand acres of scrub and home to a large flock of sheep. In her sixties, she lives alone in a four bedroom trailer and is in desperate need of reliable trustworthy assistance.

Recently, Roy approached Pete with the hope that Truck of Love could help him. Pete talked with Ruby who is eager to have them come home to live and work with her, but who cannot help them financially because she barely makes a living.

It took Roy and Agnes a couple of days to get ready. They said goodbye to everyone and then, full of hope and happiness, got into the truck with Pete for the ride to Columbia where they boarded a bus for the five day trip to Utah. Because of your donations we were able to spend the $500 for the bus tickets and give them a little money for food along the way.

The day after Roy and Agnes left it was time for the usual Friday morning prayer service. The reading for the day was about Jesus being tempted by the devil. The group talked about how the devil wanted Jesus to forget He was God, but Jesus resisted the devil’s temptations.

Pete had Lester and Scout start a small fire in the center of the prayer group. He handed pieces of paper and a pen to each person. After the reading and reflection Pete asked each person to write down a time they were tempted or a time when they had sinned. Once they had written this down they stepped forward to put the paper into the fire; symbolically letting go of the sin and guilt and receiving God’s forgiveness.

One by one each person burned their pieces of paper. Two of the girls who work in a motel cleaning rooms stepped forward together and tearfully placed their papers in the fire. As they moved back they were smiling with a glow of contentment about them.

When the prayer service was over most of the people slowly wandered off to do their chores, but the two girls lagged behind.

They approached Pete and said: “We done some bad things, but we feel like we’s bin forgivn. We wanna be Christians. Will you hep us?”

Pete replied: “It would be my honor.”

Each day we see God working in this community of people who have been badly wounded. As they come together in prayer, as they help each other with daily chores, as they live each day helping one another; they are growing in grace and strength. Like Roy and Agnes, there are others who are making small overtures with long-estranged families. There are some who are finding work and living situations that will sustain them. It is our hope and prayer that by the end of this coming summer we will have no one left living in this place in the woods.

God bless you all,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

 

There are some people we don’t write about, people who are not part of this loving woodland community. Because of issues of confidentiality, we cannot tell their stories. Please pray for all the people we serve who have problems with addictions, homelessness, violence, hunger, cold, substandard housing, and loneliness.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 2015

“For every way, O Lord, you magnified and glorified your people; unfailing, you stood by them in every time and circumstance.”
Wisdom 19:22

Dear Friends,

Our hearts are full of gratitude for each of you. You have prayed, given gifts of love, and sent cash donations that have enabled us to provide innumerable necessities for so many people. You have been the vessel of God’s grace reaching some of the forgotten in our land.

In this Christmas Season we have two miracle stories for you.  One we already wrote about in the October Pete’s Corner at www.truckoflove.org. We know some of you do not get to the website and so we want to retell it here.

Over the almost five years that Pete has been working with the community in the woods there have always been several families with children. We sent the last of the families back to homes and jobs just before the start of the school year this September, but there was one child left: Edgar. He had come into the community in the winter of 2013, shirtless, shoeless, and very cold. He was abrasive and reluctant to share anything other than the fact he’d been abandoned by his parents. He said he was seventeen.

Due to the loving nature of the people in the woods, Edgar did very well. Verna, one of the women, taught him how to read and write. He learned quickly and his curiosity blossomed. He and Verna became great friends and when she decided last year that she was leaving the community and going home, he was devastated. He moped around the camp for several weeks until he began new routines. Then one day this past October Verna called the group cell phone. She asked to talk to Edgar. She and her parents wanted him to come live with them. At the end of October Pete put Edgar on the bus to his new life.

Edgar was the cause for lots of prayer. We didn’t want him growing up and spending his life living out of dumpsters. Once he had left we turned our intense prayers toward a man who has lived on the periphery of the community, coming in to get food and then slinking back to his place at a distance from the crowd. He has been a wild person. His long hair and beard and completely unkempt appearance were enough to deter any and all help. Pete would see him fleetingly and knew that no one wanted to be around him. He was filled with anger and lashed out at anyone who got near. Pete learned he is a veteran of the first Gulf War, Desert Storm.

As we have been sending people on to better lives, we anguished about what would happen to Dexter. He never mixed with the community. Sometimes he would sit at a short distance for the Friday morning prayer services, but when Pete approached him he would utter expletives that rebuffed Pete’s advances.

About three weeks ago Pete noticed Dexter was sitting with his head in his hands ferociously rubbing his temples. Pete went near him and asked if he had a headache. Dexter replied with more profanity, but admitted that his head hurt terribly. Pete asked if it felt like his head was being squeezed. He nodded yes. Pete told him he was going to get something that he thought would help.

A trip to the pharmacy and Pete brought back caffeine tablets and aspirin, a migraine headache remedy we’ve used for years. He explained to Dexter that he ought to take one of each, every four hours.

Last week, when Pete arrived, Dexter was crying. He told Pete he wanted to go home to his Mommy and Daddy. His headaches were gone and he was talking like any other “normal” person. He said he remembered their phone number and wanted to call them. Lester dialed the number and waited for the dial tone to come up. He handed the phone to Dex who said, “Rev. Pete you talk to’em.  I can’t talk a’tall.”

Pete took telephone: “Is this Mrs. Proud?”

She said, “Yes.”

Pete explained her son was alright and was standing right next to him. She began to cry so Pete handed the phone to Dex. She couldn’t speak for a full twenty seconds after Dex said “Hello”.

Pete has spent the week getting Dexter ready to go home. Testing to see if we can really send him to Idaho on a 41 hour bus trip. Pete has taken him to the truck stop where he showered and to the barber where he shaved his bushy beard and cut his long scraggly hair. He has been to the store to shop for new clothes. He has a new cell phone from the Cricket store and he has called twice and talked to his parents who are excited to have him home for the holidays. Pete dropped him at McDonalds the other day while he did an errand for me and when he went to pick him up Dexter introduced Pete to a man with whom he was having a conversation.

During this week he told Pete he doesn’t remember too much about Desert Storm. “In '91 I was pinned down in a ruin and was near over run. The captain was killed which left three of us to fight off near eight guys coming up the hill after us. I took the captain’s pistol, and rifle and emptied ’em both on the guys comin’ up the hill. I just kept firin’ till I didn’t have no bullets left.”

When he got to a hospital he couldn’t shake the headaches that have stayed with him until last week. He was afraid the doctors were going to put him in a mental institution and he took off. He’s been living in the woods for years. He’s ready, now that the headaches have stopped, to face whatever is necessary to restore his life. He knows that his parents will help him.

Thank you for enabling us to be present to Dexter and others, like him, who have unresolved issues. God’s grace and your prayers make the difference.

God bless you and bring you the joy of this Christmas Season,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

September 2015

“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.”
St. Therese Lisieux

Dear Friends,

Saint Therese is one of our favorite role models. She lived 26 short years, but she is remembered across the world because she showed us how a simple life, lived daily with love, is something we can each aspire to. It is that spirit of God’s love we see alive in the people we serve.

Over the past few months Pete has been working with the woodland community to send the families with children back to their biological families. It has become increasingly difficult to send the children to school from the woods. New rules made it impossible to have eight children registered at one address for the new school year.

Last month the final family left with the promise of a job and a place to live. They had been living with the group almost two years. Jarvis, the Dad, had been a carpenter in Oregon with a good job in a brewery. Just before the economic downturn he quit his job and headed east, working as a carpenter along the way. By the time he, his wife, and son arrived in South Carolina, the jobs had started to dry up. Losing everything, they ended up in the woods.

This summer when they realized that the schools would not let their son register for the upcoming high school year, they began to inquire about how they could get back home. They worked and saved and Truck of Love helped with the final amount for bus tickets to Oregon. They got in touch with Jarvis’ former employer who was eager to welcome him back and promised to let the family stay in a small dwelling in the back of the brewery.

No sooner had this final family left than Lester called Pete to say he had a family he wanted Pete to meet. Another family.

Lester, the community leader, had met this family on the road, saw that they were in trouble and invited them to come share a meal with the community.

When Pete arrived he met the mother, father, and their disabled child. They took him down the road to where their old beat up car was parked. They had been on a once in a lifetime vacation trip from Ohio, when they stopped by the side of the road to explore the woods. Returning to their car after a couple of hours, they found all four tires slashed, all their belongings gone including their son’s wheelchair. Their wallet and purse with money and ID’s were missing and wires and hoses had been pulled from under the hood. Pete learned the father was a mechanic in Ohio and was due back at work in three days. He was incredibly worried about losing his job. He assured Pete he could do the work to repair the car if only he could get the parts that he estimated to be about $100.

The next morning when Pete returned to the woods, the family was there to say goodbye. The car was repaired and Pete sent them off with enough money for food and gas. One more family gone.

A few days later Lester again called Pete and said he had another family that Pete needed to meet. This family of three have now been with the community about two weeks. The Dad is working with Cinamin who washes windows in a nearby town. The Mom spends her days teaching their young son, proudly saying she is home schooling him, and helping around the encampment. Pete is in discussions with them about where they are from and the possibilities of returning them to a better life.

Lester and Pete continue to have discussions about keeping the community small. They are now down to 24 souls from a high of 43. However Lester meets people in the laundromat or walking down the road and he knows that this small group is a safe, loving place to invite them into – and he is right.

We are grateful to you for your support of this work. You are saving lives every day. One by one our woodland friends are gaining strength and hope from each other. They are learning how to trust because of the food and other necessities you provide. These are immeasurable gifts of love you give each day.

Your increased donations this year have kept us in business, but once again our bank account is feeling the effects of a long dry summer. We thank you for your continuing prayers and financial assistance.

God bless you all,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

The 29th annual TOTOL (Tohono O’odham Truck of Love) Day Camp was a huge success. Some of our big donors were unable to help us this year. If you would like to contribute to this camp at any time just designate your check for TOTOL Camp. More than 200 children and adults participate each year. It is an important part of many lives in and out of the Nation.

 

We recently had to replace Pete’s truck. His old Toyota Tacoma had gone 350,000 miles. It had no heat and no air conditioning. The windshield was cracked all the way across. It was missing the whole front left turn light assembly. The tailgate did not go down. There was a hole in the driver’s side floor board and the brakes were bad. We deemed it unsafe to drive anymore.

We got a “good deal” on a low mileage Toyota Tacoma and transferred the license plate. Unfortunately Pete got surrounded and pulled over by three police cars. One officer told him he couldn’t hide from them even in a new truck. Pete just smiles at them and drives many miles out of the way in order to keep the “authorities” from harassing the woodland community.

 

Please continue to share our newsletter. Tell people about our website: www.truckoflove.org and our Facebook page: Truck of Love Ministries. The stories on these pages are about real people and they are happening now. Donations can also be made through PayPal on our website.

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 2015

“But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord, Jesus.” Luke 24:1-3

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continuing generosity. You have prayed. You have sent money. You have written notes that give us great encouragement. We are almost through the bitter cold that has engulfed us these past few months. We are ready for spring and the hope of the Resurrection. Easter comes just when we think we cannot take the long, dark, cold nights any more.

This week we are experiencing a true Easter story of death and resurrection with one of the families that lives in the woods.

Mark and Joley along with their three children: Sherri in third grade, Mick in sixth grade, and Cherry in eighth grade have lived with the woodland community just three months. They came at Lester’s invitation after a chance meeting in the laundromat and conversations about where they were all residing.

Mark and Joley (we have changed their names) arrived in South Carolina almost three years ago. They had been living on the family farm in Kansas with Mark’s parents. There Mark was the general fix-it man and extra hand around the farm. After 14 years of marriage, three children, and living on the farm his whole life, he got restless.

Mark had a friend who was starting a tractor business in North Carolina. The friend invited him to come east, telling Mark he could pay him well and there would be enough money in it that he could send money home to his mom and dad as they struggled to keep the family farm going.

They packed up their car and kids and drove. Reaching their destination, they found a house to rent and Mark started work. The first two months he received the promised paycheck and life was good. The third month the paycheck was cut in half and the fifth month there was only a promise of a paycheck. At six months, the business folded. Mark started looking for a new job. Joley found work as a waitress, but it didn’t pay enough to cover rent. They lost their house. They lost their car. Finally, about nine months ago, they began to live in a tent behind a church where Mark became the maintenance man and Joley cleaned up after church functions.

The pastor provided food and let them use the church address so the children could remain in school. While they were living in the church yard, Joley was able to use the pastor’s phone a few times to make contact with Mark’s parents. Joley and Mark’s mom were good friends. Joley did not tell the mom why they had stopped sending money or that they were living rough in the woods. The mom revealed that she was being treated for breast cancer and that times were hard for the dad who was trying to work the farm and get her to doctor appointments. Joley learned that Mark’s dad was pretty upset and angry that his son had taken the grandchildren away.

About the time that Lester met the family, the pastor had told them that they were no longer welcome to live on the church property. The congregation was objecting to their presence.

Lester took a liking to the family and invited them to join the community in the woods – just to see if they liked it. The family has moved in and easily fit into the daily routine of life. Lester has encouraged them to stay in touch with Mark’s parents, letting them use the community cell phone. It has become increasingly apparent that Mark’s parents want them to come home. Mark’s dad needs his help on the farm and Mark is ready to take on that responsibility. The only problem is the money to get there. The dad is using all his extra resources to care for his wife as she battles the cancer. Mark and Joley have no savings left.

Lester and Pete had some conversations. Yesterday Lester asked Mark and Joley to keep the kids home from school so they could be at the Friday morning prayer service. Today at the weekly prayer service Pete read the parable of the Prodigal Son. As soon as he was finished he said to the group: “You all know that Mark and Joley want to go home. Well Truck of Love is going to help them do just that.”

Mark’s mouth opened wide and Joley burst into tears. The youngest daughter called out, “You mean we can go see Grandpa?”, before she started to cry. The two older children seeing everyone else’s tears started to cry too. The community gathered around them and there were hugs and cries of joy and congratulations all around.

Monday morning we will buy bus tickets for five and food to sustain them on their trip. They are living the Easter experience of leaving the death and darkness of the cold, empty tomb. They are ready for whatever this new life will bring. Thank you for making this possible.

God bless you as we enter this joyful season of resurrection.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 2014

"I will bless the Lord at all times; praise shall always be on my mouth. My soul will glory in the Lord that the poor may hear and be glad." Psalm 34:2-3

Dear Friends,

Thank you. You have prayed, you have written notes of encouragement, and you have sent Truck of Love $52,600 since our last newsletter. We have paid our bills and the people of the woods are once again enjoying clean clothes and more than beans and rice. Your generosity is helping those we serve in the woods as well as those who call us who are homeless and without resources. We have given a presentation at a local retirement home, Park Pointe, where the residents shared their Thanksgiving collection of food and money with us. The Newcomers Club of York County adopted us for the month of October and collected money as well as towels and blankets. Our mailing list has increased due to you sharing our newsletter with your friends and families. Some of you have committed to sending monthly donations – that really helps the budgeting. We are good for about the next six months. Thank you.

Life in the woods is changing. The brick yard has reopened and eight people are employed scraping bricks. They now receive nine cents for each brick. Last week six of the men were sitting, praying together after work when the owner of the yard approached them. They had gotten into the habit of praying together on Fridays at the brickyard because they were missing our regular prayer service in the woods. The owner asked what they were doing and they explained that they were all living together in the woods, and because of their jobs they were missing the Friday prayer service. The owner listened very carefully and offered them the use of a three bedroom trailer that sits in the woods behind the brickyard. He told these six men that if they each paid $30 a month to cover the utilities, that they could have the trailer as long as they wanted. He was also interested in having someone on the property to prevent theft. The six men are now leaving the woods and will be living in this trailer with real beds, electricity, and plumbing!

The number of people living in the woodland community is always changing. Since 2010 the community has gone from 20 to a high of 43 men, women, and children. There are five original members.

This past week was also a leaving time for Jack. He is a young man Pete met a couple of years ago on the side of the road. It was winter and Jack was sitting with his head in his hands. He had on a thin t-shirt and no shoes. Pete stopped and gave him what he had in the truck. As Pete talked with him, Jack told him he was alone and hungry. Pete took him to meet Lester, the community leader, and Jack became part of the group. As time went by Jack's gifts emerged. He could fix anything. He became the bike fixer and would also collect small appliances and fix them to resell at flea markets.

He never talked about his previous life until about a month ago when Pete approached him and engaged him in a discussion. Jack told Pete he was the youngest of eight children. He was the forgotten one. There was never a place set for him at the family table. He was supposed to be watched over by his older brother, but this brother was too distracted to take any time with him. So Jack just wandered away and ended up on the side of the road where Pete found him.

Pete encouraged him to write a postcard to his family, just to see if he could make some contact. The postcard was returned, stamped "address unknown". Jack withdrew into his hole where he continued to work on the bikes and small appliances. A couple of weeks passed and then last week, Jack approached Pete and said: "Ya know what I'd like fer Christmas?"

Pete asked: "What?"

Jack said he would like to take a ride to North Carolina to see if his family was really gone from their farm. Pete gave Ogi the money for gas and he and Jack left early Monday morning. Late that same morning Pete got a phone call from Ogi saying Jack's family was at home. They couldn't stop hugging and kissing him. It was a joy filled reunion.

Jack got on the phone to say he would not be returning with Ogi: he was back home. Pete asked him what ought to be done with all his tools and parts. He replied: "I don't care, I've got everything I need."

Jack was ready to go home and his family was glad to have him.

Over these past four years we have seen many people who have lived with this woodland community for a short time. They have been embraced by the group. They have prayed with the group, worked with the group, and learned new survival skills. They have prayed about old resentments and learned to forgive others and themselves. They have often experienced the family they never had – or thought they never had. They have used the time to heal old wounds and build new trust in themselves and people around them. When they have done all the growing they can with this community, they spread their wings and fly. Many fly out on their own and some, like Jack, return to their homes and waiting families.

The woodland community is now composed of 26 men, women, and eight children who are working very hard together to make their lives better.

While Pete is out in the woods, Sue is working in the Outreach Office in our parish. Your donations have helped with three homeless families that she recently encountered. One woman had been evicted from her condemned home after she had already paid the rent. The landlord had neglected to tell her she needed to be out and the city said – sorry- the condemnation was in effect and no one could live in the house. She was surviving on disability for herself and one of her three children. They were in their car and needed four days in a motel before her monthly checks arrived and she could rent a new home for her small family. She also needed gas in her car because she had been driving around – afraid to stay too long in one place for fear the police would see she had nowhere to go and take her children away from her.

When Sue left her at the motel she and her daughter were discussing how they could save the few dollars Sue had given them for cleaning their clothes by washing the clothing in the sink and then drying it in the dryers at the motel. The kids needed to go back to school in clean clothes. The mom assured Sue they would be fine once their checks came in.

By the grace of God and your generous donations, Truck of Love continues to serve the poor.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

Please continue to share our newsletter. Tell people about our website:
www.truckoflove.org and our Facebook page: Truck of Love Ministries.
The stories on these pages are about real people and they are happening now.

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

September 2014

"Jesus teaches us another way: Go Out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers [and sisters], go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as in spirit."
- Pope Francis

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your long-standing support of the people served by Truck of Love. We have been doing this work since 1973 in a variety of places with a variety of people. What began as a few trucks of food and clothing destined for the people of the Arizona desert has evolved through trips with groups to Tijuana, Mexico; feeding the street people in Mountain View, California; working with Laotian refugees in the San Francisco Bay Area; serving families in East Palo Alto, California; creating a children's day camp on the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona; and working with the homeless people living in the woods of South Carolina.

Some of you have been with us the whole way. You have gone out into these communities with us. You have met people whose lives have been changed forever because of the relationships you have engaged in and the friendships you have built. In the process your lives have been transformed. Some of you have supported us with your prayers, your money, and your donations of much needed food and clothing. Each of you has made this work happen and helped this work continue. We are so grateful for you.

This summer began with Sue and Pete's trip to Arizona with granddaughter, Samantha. We went to camp – the annual TOTOL day camp on the Tohono O'odham Nation held in Pisinemo, Arizona. This is the third year that 28th camp has been led by the O'odham and they are doing an amazing job. Their spirit and energy were gifts to behold.

We participated in the week of leadership training where over thirty O'odham came each day to practice games, build communication skills, and learn about being positive leaders and role models. Once the leaders were trained, the camp week began. There were more than 250 participants each day. Highlights included O'odham customs and language, arts and crafts, sports and games, and two daily meals lovingly prepared by the community. The end of the week celebration was topped off with a visit by the Tohono O'odham Fire Department and a rain shower from their truck softening the intense heat of the day. Then the campers and staff were treated to music by the traditional singers with dancing by all. It was a joyous week.

Several times, we were approached by O'odham who thanked us [Truck of Love] for starting camp. The first generation of campers are now part of tribal police, first responders, teachers, counselors, and employees of districts and recreation centers throughout the Nation. Camp is now serving their children and soon their grandchildren.

Summer continued with Pete returning from Arizona to the community who live in the woods here in South Carolina. In the past four years that he has been working with this group, they have come a long way. When he met them they were individuals living near each other in the woods, but not really having much personal contact. They were people who were down on their luck. They had lost jobs, homes, and cars. They had been abused, belittled, cast out of families, and left behind. Some had been running from the law for seemingly minor issues. None of them trusted anyone other than themselves.

As Pete began talking with each person, he encouraged them to get together to help each other. So, over the past four years, they have done just that. There are 43 people who now live in this one area in the woods. They have dug three covered pits (10 feet by 8 feet by 20 feet long) into the ground where they can sleep, cook, fix bikes, and escape both the heat and the cold. They have formed a loose governmental system with Lester as the leader.

They have a woman who cooks for the whole group. There is a teacher, a nurse, a person who keeps bikes working, people who clean the compound, and those who get water. There are women who wash the clothes and those who babysit the children so the parents can work. There had been a group who picked up the garbage by the side of the roads – thus keeping the countryside free of debris. The lucky ones who have jobs in the nearby town contribute 10% of their meager earnings to the community for whatever needs may occur. Every Friday morning they come together to pray and reflect on their lives in the spirit of the scripture and the life of Jesus.

The system, as it is set up, has meant 100% employment. Truck of Love had been subsidizing what the group could not do for themselves. We have been buying beans and rice that cost a little over $400 each week. We helped buy tarps and wood to build the pits. We have paid the group $1 per bag of garbage they collected (about $150 each week). We had begun to pay the cook twenty-five cents per meal for her cooking – because she cooks all day every day. We were buying used books for the teacher. We were buying parts for bikes so Jack could keep them in working order so people could go looking for work (the working people pay for their own bike repairs). We had been providing fruits and vegetables costing about $80 each week. We had been spending $160 each week to wash and dry the clothes at the local Laundromat (they do not have water to wash clothes in the camp). In any given week, Truck of Love was spending between $1000 and $1500 to help keep this community working together.

As summer heated up, our summer donation slump set in. Each day we would go to the mailbox to find nothing. Finally last month, our funds were so low that we had to tell the community that we could no longer help with the extras: fruits and vegetables, clothes washing, bike parts, etc. All we can do right now is help with the beans and the rice.

Life is getting harder. They keep praying each week. They keep looking for more work in the local town, but when they do not have clean clothes and they can be smelled from down the street, it is very difficult to get hired. There is one ray of hope – the brickyard is about to open again. That will provide jobs for about seven people who will receive nine and a half cents for each brick that they scrape clean of mortar.(They used to get ten cents per brick, but the owner wasn't making enough profit.)

The community talks each week and agrees to keep struggling together. There is a universal feeling that this community is the best thing any of them have encountered in their lives. They have found a group of people who accept them and appreciate them for who they are as children of God. These are some of the most courageous, hardworking people Pete has ever met. They find joy in the smallest things like the pan of macaroni and cheese given to us by a sweet woman who lives in a local retirement community. This pan meant for eight people was cut into one inch cubes and passed around to the forty three people who enjoyed it with gusto. This community embraces the Word in both body and spirit.

God bless you all,

Pete and Sue

WE NEED TO INCREASE OUR DONOR BASE. PLEASE SHARE THIS NEWSLETTER WITH ANYONE YOU THINK MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN THE WORK OF TRUCK OF LOVE. YOU CAN ALSO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT OUR WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE.THERE ARE LOTS MORE STORIES AND UPDATES ON "PETE'S CORNER."

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 2014

“Shout  joyfully to God, all the earth…Say to God, ‘How  tremendous are your deeds!’” Psalm 66:1,3

Dear Friends,

It was a long, cold winter and spring has erupted into all the colors and scents anyone can imagine. God is good. Life is good. We are in awe of God’s blessings on us and the communities we serve.

Sue is about to leave for the TOTOL (Tohono O’odham Truck of Love) Day Camp in Arizona. This year our granddaughter, Samantha, will also be making the journey. Keep us and the O’odham in your prayers during this 28th summer of fun. We will have a full report for you when we return.

In the woods, it has been an amazing Easter time. For those of you who read our website, www.truckoflove.org (Pete's Corner), or our Facebook page, Truck of Love Ministries, you know that River has died. He had experienced some very bad headaches around Easter and when Pete got him to the hospital, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He died on his way home to the woods, where he wanted to be with his family.

Since River’s death, we have had many responses from you, our readers, telling us how his story affected you. We are deeply grateful to you for sharing with us. We know he is at peace at home with his God.   

The community has rallied around Edgar, his best friend. Edgar is doing very well and is beginning to realize he has the youth and energy to move ahead in his life. We have just posted more on him in Pete’s Corner.

In the last month another family moved into the woods: a mother, father, and two small children. They were there one morning when Pete arrived. The Dad had come to South Carolina to start a business with a friend. Once the “friend” landed the big contract, he disappeared and this man and his family were left with nothing. The Dad had been working wherever he could and they lived in the woods to save their money. They had $350 and asked Pete if he could help them get back home. Truck of Love pitched in $400 for the rest of the bus tickets and they were on their way to a new life last week. They were shouting joyfully all the way to the bus in Charlotte.

Sue continues to work each week in the Social Concerns Outreach Office at the Parish. She has been trying to get a birth certificate for one woman since last October. The woman wants to get a South Carolina ID, but in order to get an ID, a person has to have a birth certificate. The problem is that in order to get a birth certificate, a person has to have an ID.  

When a person loses all their important documents it is almost impossible to get them back. But after many letters and phone calls to New York Vital Records, the birth certificate came in the mail last week. There have now been two trips to the DMV for the ID and next week the third trip with proper documentation ought to deliver a South Carolina ID. Now when this woman gets stopped by the police that inevitably will happen because of where she lives, she will not be threatened with jail time for not having an ID.

Another woman came in with her daughter. The mother is sixty-seven years old and she and her daughter were living in a motel, because they had lost their apartment due to some of the daughter’s indiscretions. They wanted help to pay the motel bill until the mother’s Social Security check arrived. In talking with this grandmother, it was apparent that two days of rent were not going to help her in the long term. It was also apparent that her daughter was taking advantage of her.

Sue asked them if they would be willing to go into a woman’s shelter. The mother was eager to do that, the daughter very reluctant. In asking the mother if she would be willing to go into a shelter by herself, she said “Yes!” Sue put in a call to a shelter in York, the county seat, about thirty miles west of Rock Hill. The shelter there, Tender Hearts, was willing to interview the mother.

Sue drove her to the interview where the woman was told about their nine month program. All the women work in the Tender Hearts Thrift Store, they all go to church twice each week on Wednesday nights and most of Sunday. By the end of their time in Tender Hearts, they will have a job and a car and an apartment.

In the case of this mother, since she is on Social Security, the director put in a call to the York Housing Authority and she was going to have an interview the next Monday. She was approved for entering the Tender Hearts program, but had to return the next day with all her belongings.

Sue took her back to Rock Hill where she helped her load her belongings into Sue’s car. She then took her to a different motel where she spent the night before going to the shelter. The daughter was very unhappy with the decision her mother had made and Sue, and the mother, felt it would be safer for her to be physically away from her daughter.

The Outreach Office doesn’t have the budget for motel rooms, so Truck of Love helped pay for this mother and grandmother to start her life over at the age of sixty-seven.

When Sue left her at Tender Hearts she was crying in gratitude for the generosity of people she doesn’t even know. She was having a hard time believing that her life was going to be her own. As Sue closed the door at Tender Hearts she could see this grandmother sitting on the couch, holding the box that contains her late husband’s ashes, smiling as the other residents surrounded her and helped her put her things in her own sleeping space.  How tremendous are your deeds oh God.

We continue to thank God for each of you. We pray for you as we read your letters and your messages, as we write thank you notes, and as we paste mailing labels and stamps. We know we cannot do this work without you and God’s grace.

God bless you all,

Pete and Sue

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 2014

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great people make you feel that you too can become great."
Mark Twain

Dear Friends,

We sit here in South Carolina recovering from the eight inches of snow and ice that kept us captive for three days last week and we are already looking ahead to summer. The 28th Annual TOTOL (Tohono O'odham Truck of Love) Summer Day Camp will serve the children of the Tohono O'odham Nation in Southeast Arizona from June 9-20. We have some very dedicated volunteers who continue to travel to the O'odham Nation to help with camp. One of them is Cathy Baker – otherwise known as "Joker" because of her huge smile. She has been working the camp every year since she started over 20 years ago. She has influenced many children who are now the parents of current campers.

Last year, at the end of camp, I asked her if she could give me some comments from some of the O'odham leaders. One young woman, Jennifer Lopez, had this to say: "Thanks Joker for everything you and your people have ever done for our people! The camp has made a big and positive change in our community as well as in our youth. I want positive activities for my kids as well, and wherever and whoever will teach me, I am willing to take part. Haha. You know ever since I was little I always wanted to be you and now look at what I'm doing. Now I'm standing right next to you leading in the way you do, so in a way I finally got to play Joker! Haha and thanks again from the bottom of my heart. Thanks for making me a part of this camp planning group and for allowing me to be your friend!"

And another wonderful former camper, JL, wrote: "Cathy, thanks to you, Pete and Sue I'm still around. You guys saved me during my time of depression. So I'll always be here to help you guys out. I promise."

Each year hundreds of O'odham, children and adults, come together to make this camp happen. Two years ago we transferred the leadership of the camp to the O'odham who have done a spectacular job of creating fun activities and educational programs for the kids. If you want to help support the camp you can make your donation to Truck of Love and designate it for TOTOL Camp. You can be part of the legacy of positive change that camp has inspired.

As we look forward to the summer heat, Pete is out in the cold South Carolina woods every day. This week he came across a man who had once been part of the woodland community.

Pete met Larry about three years ago. Larry, with his head down, was slowly pushing a lawn mower along the side of the road. Pete, noticing his dejected demeanor, stopped his truck, and approached him. He engaged him in conversation and learned that he had just been evicted from his motel room because he could not pay the rent. The mower he was pushing was given to him by his single mother as she locked him out of his house at the age of fifteen. She knew he could make money mowing lawns. He kept the mower to remind him of his family.

Larry seemed like a good guy who just wanted to work – he said he really loved mowing lawns and wanted to keep that business going, but he'd gotten tired of being rejected as he knocked on doors.

Pete felt like Larry would be a good addition to the woodland community, so Pete said he thought he might have a place where Larry could stay. He took him to meet Lester who accepted him into the group on the condition that Larry would do small chores around the compound when he wasn't working or searching for jobs.

Pete got Larry an old bike that one of the men in the compound fixed into working order. Each morning Larry would go out on his bike using one hand to drag the mower down the road. He had his own cell phone. He and Pete came up with a flyer advertising his skills at yard work. Each day he found work and gradually saved enough money to buy an old truck for $300. (He is one of the lucky ones who have a driver's license.) He got more and more work until he was able to move out of the woods into a motel after about six months.

When Pete ran into Larry this week, he couldn't stop talking about all the good things that were happening for him. He now has two trucks and two John Deere mowers. He employs four men for $10 an hour. He says he's expanded his work to cleaning out gutters (a great choice for winter months). He is an independent business man.

Sue continues her work in the Social Concerns Outreach Office at St. Mary's. There is a group of six women who have been helped in various ways by the Social Concerns Office. About a year ago Sue and her co-volunteer, Denise, approached these women about starting a baking project. Both Sue and Denise like to bake and this seemed like a way to help these unemployed women get back into the working world and also give something back to the office that had helped them. Two of the women had started into the GED program, one was in the literacy program leading to the GED program; all of them needed jobs, but for a variety of reasons they were having a difficult time finding work. They began by making cupcakes in the church kitchen and they held their first bake sale last spring. They earned over $500 that they donated to the Social Concerns Outreach Office.

They call themselves the "Soup Kitchen Angels", because they had originally met at the soup kitchen which is across the hallway from the Social Concerns Office. They come together most Fridays to practice their baking skills which have now expanded to making homemade noodles, pizza, and pizza rolls. The last few weeks they have been cooking in Sue's home kitchen where they enjoy the fruits of their labor and treat Pete to a Friday afternoon feast.

These are six women who knew each other, but were not friends. These days they come into Sue & Pete's home with huge smiles and an eagerness to learn new skills together. The real gift has been the community they have formed. They are using their newly learned math and reading skills to follow recipes and they are coming up with ideas for foods that might be appealing to others. Their lives are being transformed one cupcake and pizza roll at a time.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

Thank you for your prayers, notes, and donations. It is costing about $5,500 each month for food, medical emergencies, and other supplies for the 43 people in the woods. Truck of Love also helps with extraordinary expenses in the outreach office. The TOTOL Camp takes about $20,000 for food and supplies for two weeks for the 300 plus campers and leaders.

Your donations can be sent to Truck of Love or you can use Pay Pal on our website. If you wish your donation to go to camp, please make that notation.

Truck of Love
1455 George Dunn Rd.
Rock Hill, SC 29730

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

September 2013

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your gifts of love for the people we serve here in South Carolina and at the TOTOL (Tohono O’odham Truck of Love) Day Camp on the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona.

It has been a busy summer. The 27th year of the TOTOL Day Camp served more than three hundred children and adults each day. This was the second year that the camp was directed by the O’odham and they have done a tremendous job working with the various districts and with the children. We are so pleased they want to continue this camp tradition.

Pete’s adventures in the woods of South Carolina continue to evolve. Looking back over the four years we have been here, we have been struck by the transformation of the community in the woods. Originally Pete met a few people who were spread out in various locations and then one day in the Summer of 2011 he was flagged down by a man we now know as Lester. Lester had heard about Pete through others who inhabited the area. He was living deep in the woods and he was in need of food and tarps. He and the people he knew were hungry and hurting. Their fear of outsiders had kept them in desperate circumstances. Pete began to visit Lester and his blind friend, Lilly, on a regular basis. Gradually other people emerged from nearby when Pete would be around. Pete would engage these individuals in conversation and he started writing down their stories. As he wrote their stories he would read them to the people. Soon others wanted to tell him about their lives so he would write about them.

Then one day a man asked if Pete could get him a bible. Soon there were several bibles in the encampment – the most popular one being a children’s bible with large print and pictures. In the Spring of 2012 Lester approached Pete one day to ask if he would lead a prayer service. Of course Pete said yes and that began the tradition of the Friday morning prayer service. The first ones were attended by a few people, now almost all 39 residents come each week to listen to scripture, sing and share their reflections on God’s word.

Because of your generosity, Pete is able to buy beans, rice, fruit and other staples. The group has realized that each of them has different gifts and talents. Some are good cooks, some are good at gathering wood, some like to do the wash and fold the clothes, some are good at keeping the camp area clean, some are good at fixing things that break. They are not hungry any more, though their diet is lacking in meat and dairy products (those are way too expensive). They fish in the local stream and capture lots of squirrels for their animal protein. They work together for the common good.

Edgar, a young boy who is a recent arrival, summed up his experience with the group. He said, “I’ve never been happier. This is my family. I want to live here with them forever.” (For a little bit of Edgar’s story read Pete’s Corner Feb 2013)

Back in town, Sue has been helping at the Outreach Office at the parish. She likes to begin each morning with prayer and because the Outreach Office has recently moved to a larger space, it is now possible to invite the people who are lined up in the hall to join the staff for prayer. This small act has transformed the spirit of everyone involved. There is lots more laughter in the hallway and an increase of patience for those who wait a long time.

The needs continue to be great. Each day has its own surprises.

The church and the Outreach Office are in the most medically underserved area of South Carolina. Requests for dental help, eye exams, doctor visits, medications top the list every month. Frequently a person will come in with a toothache and need to see a dentist. When they are questioned about their health, it turns out they have untreated high blood pressure. Having experienced one man going to the emergency room because of high blood pressure after a tooth extraction, Sue has had to advise these people to go to a doctor to get some medication to control the blood pressure before she can send them to a dentist. Since most of the clients have no insurance and no income (other than food stamps), the Outreach Ministry pays the $25 to the local community clinic so they can be seen by a physician. Once the blood pressure is under control then they can see one of the dentists who treat the clients of the Outreach Office for free.

A few days ago a woman called from a neighboring town. She was living in a motel with her two children. Her son is sixteen and her daughter is 18. She had been laid off work for the week and was three days behind in room payments. The motel manager had told her she would have to leave. She explained to Sue that she had learned she could not go to a shelter because no shelter will take a boy over the age of ten. She knew she would be able to start work again on Friday and she would get paid each day in cash – so as of Friday she could pay the for the motel room. Her daughter was also looking for work. The Outreach Office does not have enough money in the budget for motels. Because of your generosity to Truck of Love, we were able to cover her room for three nights. The manager promised to let her stay until her work began again. God is good.

We pray for you as we write thank you notes and paste labels on newsletters. Please keep us in your prayers.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

Your notes, your prayers and your donations keep this work going. We are getting more local support as the months go by. On August 24, 2013 we were featured on a radio program where we talked about local issues of hunger and poverty. You can listen to the whole show at www.radio4theages.com.

As always you can make donations to Truck of Love by check or go to our website and send your gifts of love through PayPal.

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 2013

Dear Friends,

We thank you for your generosity toward the people served by Truck of Love. Each day we pray in thanksgiving for you. We pray for each of you as we write thank you notes. We pray for you as we paste labels on newsletters. Thank you for praying for us.

As spring has arrived we are seeing more people going to work or wanting to work. The group that Pete sees each day in the woods is a fine example of the desire we human beings have to work. It is a part of who we are. Work helps us define ourselves (for better or worse). Jesus was a carpenter; his followers were fishermen, tax collectors, shepherds, farmers, merchants, and laborers. Jesus belonged to the working world and valued that part of a person's life.

The community in the woods has evolved in the past three years from a bunch of individuals taking what they could to survive, to a real community of people who pray together and work together for the improvement of the community and the betterment of its members.

The first person to get work was a woman named Cinnamon. She approached Pete one day and told him she wanted to wash windows. She asked him if he would buy her a bucket and a squeegee. Once she had these, she got on the bike Pete had gotten for her and she rode into the nearest town and began to knock on doors. She now has two more people who work with her and they wash windows all week.

Then one day Pete was driving the back roads and went past a brick yard that had a dangerously overloaded truck of bricks parked in the front. Pete stopped and went into the office where he asked the man if there were any jobs available. The man was excited, saying he could use anyone who wanted to work hard. They just needed to show up and he would pay ten cents for each used brick that they cleaned (chopping off the old mortar and stacking them on pallets). That has turned into six regular jobs. Each person cleans enough bricks to bring home about $35 a day.

One young man came into the community a while back with just the shirt on his back and the pants on his legs. He is about 17 and is very smart at fixing things. Since his arrival the community bikes are maintained and he has even set up an underground storage area where he collects parts of small appliances, bikes, etc and he fixes and put together anything that crosses his path. He even sells some of his projects at the local flea market. He would love to have his own bike shop.

Another woman who has a daughter has a job cleaning rooms at a motel. She is saving for her daughter's education.

Those who cannot go out to work, stay in the woods and have jobs to maintain the encampment – things like cooking, sweeping, and washing clothes. Lester who is the elected leader makes sure that order is kept and jobs get done.

There are 39 people living in this one woodland community. Thirteen go out each day to work. Everyone who works puts a percentage of their income into the group kitty that is kept for emergencies. Even with their income, it is still necessary for Pete to supplement them with food, medical supplies, tarps, water jugs, laundry money and other essentials – that adds up to about $3,500.00 each month. We are so grateful to you for helping with this.

It is difficult to get a job with no ID. That is why so many of the woodland group, work for so little. These are the only jobs available to them.

In the Outreach Office at St. Mary's Church where Sue works two days each week, she has the same problem. One of the things she regularly does is to provide transportation to people who need to go the DMV to get their ID. It's a wonderful thing to see the smile on a person's face when they bring that ID into the Office and ask for a resume or a ride to a job interview.

Occasionally there is a problem. In order to get and ID a person has to have a birth certificate, a Social Security card, and proof of residency. In order to get a birth certificate, a person has to have an ID. In order to get a Social Security card, a person has to have an ID. Sometimes people have lost all of these.

One day this past month a man in his late 30's came into the Office. He had lost his ID and Social Security card and had a piece of his birth certificate that showed his middle and last name, but not his first name. He had a job waiting for him– he just needed an ID. The DMV would not honor the part of the birth certificate – because it did not show his full name.

In Sue's discussion with him, she discovered that both his parents were deceased – that ruled out their getting the birth certificate for him. It seemed that he would be a good candidate for what is called "Vital Check". Sue logged into the website that is used to get birth certificates specifically for people who have lost them and need to get an ID. The site asks certain clarifying questions to determine that the person is getting the birth certificate for themselves. Sue had been successful several times in the past helping people get their birth certificate in this way. Though the service is expensive – it costs nearly $30.00 – it is worth it when a person wants to work.

This day the man answered all the questions and Sue used her credit card to pay and then the screen told them that there was not enough information to give him his birth certificate. After phone calls to Vital Check in Columbia, the capitol of South Carolina, to the Health Department in Rock Hill, and to our U.S. Congressman there is still no birth certificate. It seems that the existing law does not provide for legal residents who have lost all their documentation.

He even has his school records, but no one wants to see these.

His job is still waiting. He still wants to work. Sue will keep pursuing solutions. We thank you for the non-refundable $30 that we spent at Vital Check.

Thank you for your continuing dedication to the work of Truck of Love. Thank you for your donations to TOTOL Camp on the Tohono O'odham Nation in Arizona. Leadership training starts June 10 with the 27th year of camp to follow during the week of June 17. This is the second year that camp is under O'odham leadership and we know it will be wonderful for the over 200 participants.

Please check out our website www.truckoflove.org and look at Pete's Corner and Sue's Corner for more stories about our ministry. Remember, in addition to writing a personal check to Truck of Love, you can also use PayPal on our website.

God bless you,
Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 2013

"God is the spirit within us that calls us to the deep, conscious living of a spiritual life. God is the question that
drives us beyond facile answers. God is the invisible vision that drives us to the immersion of the self in God."

Joan Chittister from Called to Question a spiritual memoir

Dear Friends,

Our Lenten reading of Joan Chittister, has affirmed our daily experiences. We are being immersed in God in unexpected ways and places. We are constantly called to understand that God is here and now, in us and around us, every minute of every day.

Pete writes a lot about a boy named, River. (See Pete's Corner) Life is hard in the woods, but River always brings everyone back to what matters. He holds the spirit of the group – one of openness to the wonder of creation and the acceptance of people as they are.

There is a new boy in the encampment. He arrived with nothing, having been abandoned by both his parents. He is about 16 and his name is Edgar. He and River have become fast friends.

Last week, Pete arrived early Wednesday morning to see that River had spread the tarps on the ground and covered them with pine boughs. He was setting up a meeting space for the whole community. He had been decorating all morning with some of the Christmas ornaments the group had made and he had saved: little bits of pinecones and colored paper they had made into angels and stars and anything they could imagine.

River greeted Pete with: "Don't tell Edgar. I'm throwin a party here for him, ok?"

The group started to gather and River went to get Edgar, leading him into the circle of his new friends; insisting he keep his eyes closed. River told Edgar to put his hand inside River's coat pocket. Edgar pulled out a gem encrusted, silver-coated, plastic crown that River placed on Edgar's head.

As everyone sang "Happy Birthday", Edgar's lower lip began to quiver. His eyes widened as River handed him a package wrapped in newspaper and encouraged him to open it up. River was dancing with the excitement of the moment. The package contained second grade and third grade readers; books Pete had purchased for Edgar and River wanted to give him. (Edgar had never been to school and one of the ladies in the group is teaching him to read.) Smiles and gifts from other people flooded the space. Elaine wrapped a pair of her favorite socks that had hearts on them. Herm had saved a mug he got from the trash with "Hawaii" written over a scene of a beach. The most memorable gift was a pair of pool flippers designed for a small child.

Pete had gotten a donated cake the previous day and before it was cut, in the absence of candles, River told Edgar he needed to make a wish. "I ain't never made a wish before, so what do I do?" Edgar stated.

Lily said, "I don' 'member the first time I made a wish, but you can jes say 'thank you.'"

Edgar, holding back tears, looked around the group and said:"Thanks Everyone! Can I make more wishes?"

Lester told him he could make as many wishes as he wanted.

"I jes wanna live here with ya'll and my friend, River, forever. Is that ok with you? I don need nothing else then what I got right here, right now."

Back at the parish Outreach Office, Sue is working with the staff and some of the clients on a baking project. Four ladies who want to be known as the "Soup Kitchen Angels" are meeting once a month to bake cookies or cupcakes. The first batch of cookies was offered at the parish ministry faire and the second batch, cupcakes, was served this past Saturday at the Soup Kitchen.

The idea of baking was presented to the clients of the Outreach Office as a way for them to "give back". In a couple of months the baked goods will be sold after Sunday masses and the money raised will go back to the Outreach Ministry. It all sounded like good fun and four ladies were the willing volunteers.

The unexpected outcome (and there always is one) is the camaraderie that has developed among the ladies. Three of them are in the GED program and are tutored by one of the outreach tutors on Fridays. These are women who have come through some hard times. They are still going through hard times. But when they come together to bake, they laugh and joke with each other and marvel at their simple accomplishments. They are beginning to dream about possibilities. They are proposing ideas for the future of their small project.

As one of the women told Sue last Friday as she left her at her home "We are acting like a community, helping each other."

Thank you for your prayers and donations that help us to facilitate these blessed times. God is so good.

God bless you,
Pete and Sue Fullerton

The 27th annual TOTOL Summer Camp will be held two weeks in late June this year. Founded by Truck of Love, this is the second year that the camp will be run by the Pisinemo District of the Tohono O'odham Nation with support by Truck of Love. If you have been a counselor with Truck of Love in the past, and you want to join this year's group, contact Chrissy Rinki (crinki@gmail.com) or Cathy Baker (cbjoker8100@comcast.net). Each year this camp brings together children and adults from all over the O'odham Nation for two weeks of fun and learning. The first week is leadership training and the second week is camp. More than 200 O'odham participate in this event. Truck of Love has counselors that come from many states to assist the O'odham in making this a memorable time for the children.

If you want to donate to the camp, please designate your checks to "TOTOL Camp" and we will make sure the funds are sent to help. Last year, Truck of Love paid $15,000 of the camp expenses. Please help us with this amazing event.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

October 2012

"But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and
is found."
Luke 15:32

Dear Friends,

It's been a long, hot summer in the Carolinas. As the first chill of fall begins to seep into our bones, we are looking back over a summer of intense events in the woods and in our parish outreach office and we are grateful to each of you for your continuing help.

Pete spends most days with the community in the woods. There have been many changes in their lives in these last three months. They have moved several times because of men coming through the woods who threaten them. As a result many of the families with children have reconciled with their relatives and have chosen to "go home". One man's reconciliation was particularly striking.

Arthur came to the community in the woods as the result of an invitation by Lester, who is the head of the community. As Pete got to know Arthur, it was apparent that something was deeply troubling him. He began to share the brutal details of his story. He was missing one eye and had a scar that began over his missing eye and extended across his forehead over his skull and ended at the base of the back of his neck. He told Pete how he had been attacked by four men who not only inflicted this wound, but who also did other unspeakable things to him. One day he asked Pete if God could forgive anything. Pete thought he was talking about forgiving the men who had accosted him.

Then he told Pete more. He'd been raised by a loving grandmother, but was a punk kid who abused alcohol and drugs. A few years ago he left home and, in the process, stole some money from his grandma. He said he wanted to see her again- he really didn't even know if she was still alive. He was worried she wouldn't recognize him now. He was afraid to go.

That week Pete chose the reading of the prodigal son for the Friday prayer service. As they've been doing for some time, the people acted out the parable. Arthur was designated as one of the players and when they got to the part where the son goes off and squanders his father's inheritance, Arthur said he couldn't finish and walked away from the rest of the group.

When the service was over, Pete went to find him. Arthur said he had to go find his grandma. He didn't know if she would forgive him, but he had to try. A few days later, Pete drove him to the bus station. (See www.truckoflove.org/Pete's Corner for September for more of Arthur's story.)

We don't know if Arthur found his grandma, but we keep him in our prayers.

We pray, also, for the people Sue works with, in the parish outreach office. Sue is now part of a team that works on Tuesday and Thursdays. The hallway outside the office fills with people who have varied needs. Some people are there every day that the office is open. Like the father of the prodigal son, Sue and her team are challenged to see the good in each individual person.

One lady who is in the process of getting disability has appointments several times a week: for the doctor, the social security office, the vocational rehabilitation center, etc. She has no transportation and she cannot see beyond her nose. She needs rides and she needs help filling out the incessant forms required by each organization.

The other day, she casually remarked to the team:"I'm learning to be patient. I don't yell at ya'll as much as I used to, do I?"

So many people come into the outreach office who have severed ties with family and friends. Because of uncontrollable anger, or substance abuse, or an unwillingness to forgive themselves and those around them, or a myriad of other reasons; they find themselves alone and in trouble.

There is another woman; we'll call her "P", who came in each week to have the outreach team fax her unemployment form to the state office. Every week P came in angry and agitated. She had all sorts of reasons why she couldn't find a job; including saying she had been blacklisted by all employers in Rock Hill. It was apparent that her attitude was the biggest barrier to her finding and keeping a job. Then one day Sue asked her about her relationship with God. She said it didn't exist. She used to pray because her grandmother would pray. She liked it, but that was when she was a child. One of the team, who was sitting by her side reached out for her hand and began to pray. P became silent. When the prayer was done, she was in tears. She said:"I needed that."

After being given a pocket New Testament, she walked out in peace.

It's a struggle for so many people to trust the team in the outreach office. They have been disappointed by friends and family too many times. People are now learning that Sue and the team will be there to help them along in their journey. The team is committed to walking with each person as they make their own decisions to change their own lives –like the prodigal son had to make his own mistakes before he could find his own way home.

God bless you,
Pete and Sue Fullerton

P.S. Due to many requests, we now have PayPal on our Truck of Love website. You can make donations with a credit card or your PayPal account. Just go to truckoflove.org and check it out. Thank you so much.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 2012

“For you were called to freedom…only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, rather, serve one
another in love.”
~ Paul’s letter to the Galatians 5:13

Dear Friends,

June began with our trip to Arizona to visit our friends at the 26th annual TOTOL Summer camp on the Tohono O’odham Nation. What a joy to be there for a few days and to be part of the leadership training that was being led by the O’odham: Sylvia Cruz, Elaine Lopez, Marie Wilson, Jennifer Hunter, Linda Fayaunt, Elkeena Luz. These valiant ladies took on parts of leadership. They met for months before camp with each other and with Cathy Baker, Chrissy Rinki, and Meighan Wilson. They were challenged in many new ways and definitely stepped out of their comfort zones. They were stars, backed up by the district support of Stanley Cruz and Veronica Antone plus helpers like Shane Antone during the leadership training week.

When camp started twenty-six years ago, we had no idea how long this would go on. The evolution of camp has been a slow process. In the beginning a few of the O’odham teens came to California for leadership training at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Later we took leadership training to the Nation. Some summers we had as many as sixty O’odham participants. Camp grew from the original 55 participants to over 200 today. The bond that has grown between the O’odham and the out-of-state counselors is miraculous. We are so thankful to Stanley Cruz, Pisinemo District Chairman, who has supported camp by his presence and perseverance. And we are thankful to all the O’odham who stepped up this year to keep camp going.

This summer we celebrated the many talented young people who have come to camp, learned from camp and gone on to do great things for camp and for their communities.

Back in South Carolina, it’s been a tough month in the woods. The community was invaded twice in the middle of the night by baseball bat wielding men who threatened the people. It created a fear in the community that Pete had not seen in the two years he has been working with them.

This crisis has been a real opportunity for change. This group of people who found each other in the woods has spent the last two years helping each other through a variety of upheavals. They have lived through the storms of violent winter freezes and equally violent winds and hail of spring and summer. They have worked, played and prayed together. Through it all, they have learned to trust each other and hope for better times.

After the men terrorized them in the middle of the night, several families with children took the big step and called home to families they had left behind. These people had come to South Carolina looking for work. They ended up in the woods fighting for their very existence. Thankfully, because of your donations we have been able to help five families return to their home states where they have the promise of jobs. We pray for them each day – please remember them in your prayers.

Sue’s Tuesdays in the outreach office are getting busier. This past Tuesday when Sue arrived fifteen people were waiting in the hallway. One man had found a piece of paper and a pen and they had already started their sign- up sheet.

Each week the predominant need is different. One week it will be people with toothaches. The people who are on Medicaid no longer have dental help. There are several local dentists who will see our clients for free. Another week it is people who need help paying utility bills. When a person loses a job, the utilities are the last to be paid. Sue has seen some bills that are over $900.00. Several organizations in town will each give a little and often Truck of Love can pitch in to help alleviate some of the past due amounts.

This week one lady stood out for Sue. She could be heard in the hallway even before she came into the office. She had a ragged piece of cloth tied around her neck. In order to talk, she would put her hand under the cloth to use her finger to cover the raw infected hole in her throat. In a raspy voice she asked Sue to make a phone call.

She had come into the outreach before her surgery – when her throat was hurting. She had managed to get Medicaid and Disability and had her surgery in December. It turned out she had throat cancer and the doctor removed her vocal cords. It is now six months later and she has been removed from temporary Disability and Medicaid. She was told she ought to be able to go back to work. She cannot pay for the medication which is treating the infection in the festering opening in her throat. That day she was looking for help with her prescriptions.

You are helping people to be free. When a person is poor, they have so few choices. When Pete buys a bike for a man in the woods, it means he can get a job at the local brick yard scraping concrete from used bricks. When Sue provides a ride to the Vocational Rehabilitation office it means a woman can get some job training that is appropriate for a person with mental illness. When Pete gives people quarters for laundry, it means they can have clean clothes to go to that job interview. When Sue fills out a form for a woman who can’t read or write, it means she will get help with her overdue utility bills.

When you write a check to Truck of Love it means kids who live in the desert of Arizona can go to camp for a week where they play games, learn about their culture and just have fun; it means that a young mother of six can have air-conditioning in her apartment until her next paycheck comes in; it means that the people in the woods can have a set of summer clothes to help them through the 90 degree heat and humidity; it means that families can feel free to return to their roots and start over again. Thank you for loving the people who are served by Truck of Love.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 2012

"…then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him…"
Luke 24:31

Dear Friends,

We love Easter week when the church's readings reflect the risen Christ. It reminds us of so many times long ago when we
would visit the sisters in Arizona on the Tohono O'Odham Nation and go each day to a different village where we would
celebrate mass with the people in a home or small chapel. The reading was always the story of the two men meeting Jesus
on the road to Emmaus – how they did not recognize Him until he broke bread with them. It's such a wonderful story, one
that we relive each of our days. It has become a challenge to us to recognize Jesus in the most unlikely people and places.

As Pete has been working with the people in the woods he has formed a sweet friendship with a young man whose name is
River. He wrote about River in the December Pete's Corner on our website.

River is a loving, generous, honest, and insightful teenager. He lives with his adoptive parents among the trees. He
comes to the Friday morning prayer services that the community has asked Pete to lead. He always listens and often asks
questions. One morning, as Pete was reading about Jesus, River asked: "Did Jesus live in the forest like we do?"

River loves the children's bible that Pete has given the community. He likes to look at the pictures. He loves the beauty in
the pictures. He's a very happy boy. Each day Pete comes home with another "River story". What is clear is that River has
been loved all his life and he just loves everyone around him.

This last week has been particularly hard for the people in the woods. Liz died. She was a woman who had come to the
woods to die, but as she weakened and got near her last days, the people got scared and asked Pete to take her to the
hospital. The nurses called in the social worker and they placed her in hospice care. The people she had lived with in the
woods took turns riding their bike the seven miles to the hospital to sit with her. But none of them were "next of kin". So
on Friday, when they called to see her, they were told she had died and her body had already been cremated and put in a
pauper's grave.

The Friday prayer service turned into a memorial for Liz. People were stunned. They couldn't believe she was dead. Then one person said: "Is that what's gonna happen to us?"

By Monday two couples had left the woods. Just disappeared without even saying goodbye.

Sue continues to work with St. Mary's Outreach. Each Tuesday she sits in the Outreach office and meets with people who
arrive in the early morning hours and wait in line to be seen. The needs are varied. It might be a man who needs blood
pressure medication, a woman who needs a ride to the unemployment office, a person who has a tooth ache. They wait
on the benches in the long hallway outside the door. When it's their turn they come into the small office and sit down and
tell their story. Sometimes Sue can give immediate help and sometimes it is necessary to refer them to another agency.
Sometimes it's just a matter of being a good listener.

Yesterday one woman, whose file is thicker than all the others, came in. She has been visiting the office with a variety of
needs over the past two years that the office has been open. Yesterday she came in to talk. She said the devil had been
getting after her. The social worker had wanted to put her into a home and she wasn't gonna let the devil get her.

Her devil is alcohol. She's been fighting it her whole adult life. She tries so hard to be sober. She goes to church, she talks
to her pastor, she comes to the soup kitchen, and she goes to the church up the street to help the old people (she's only 57
years old). She tries so hard and she just has to tell someone. Once she had told her story, she got up and walked out of the
office.

As Sue was leaving the office yesterday she went into the dining room of the soup kitchen looking for another person. Sue
was in a hurry to get out, but was very loudly called to the table of a woman she has befriended, who casually told Sue she
had a headache. Sue admonished her about remembering to take her medicine and was about to make her escape when
the woman said: "I was having such a bad day that last night I had a beer and some liquor to drink. I jes had to forget my
troubles."

About this time, Sue sat down on the empty chair next to her. It seemed she had something she needed to talk about.
She went on:"I was drinkin and drinkin and feelin sorry for mysef when a man appeared in front of me. He had one hand
over his heart and the other arm and hand stretched out toward me. He just stood there for a while and then I heard him
say: 'You don't need anything but me. I will never leave you.' He just kept sayin, 'You don't need anything but me. I will
never leave you!' Pretty soon, I jes stood up on my bed and got the bottles of beer and liquor and went to my front do and
opened it an threw them bottles outside. When I came back to my bed, the man was still there. His hand over his heart and
the other stretched out to me. He said agin: 'You don't need anythin but me. I will always be with you.' Then he took his
hand from his heart and reached out to me with both his arms and gave me the biggest hug! I can still feel him."

Christ is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

Thank you for your most generous donations for the TOTOL Camp. To date,
we have received $4395. We can still receive donations designated for camp.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February 2012

Dear Friends,

Thank you for each of your notes, pictures, prayers and donations you sent throughout the Christmas Season. You brightened our days and you gave encouragement to so many people.

Several days each week, Pete is out in the woods working with a community of families that live off the highway, among the trees. He is meeting some very interesting people, who are just trying to live. Some of them collect cans from along the side of the road and then ride their bikes several miles to the recycling center where they cash them in. He's now working with them to increase their productivity.
They collect the cans and crush them either with a device they have created for crushing or by having Pete drive over the cans they have laid out on the ground (they can crush lots more with the help of the truck). They transport them in bags loaded into a trailer at the back of one of the bikes Pete has procured for them or sometimes Pete will load up his truck. It is not uncommon for the men to bike
back and forth to the recycle center three of four times in a day. They can earn about $30.00 in this way. But when Pete loads up his truck they can earn up to $125.00 in one trip. This money they put into a community fund that is used for emergencies for the roughly 35 people who live together. Recently they tapped into this fund to contribute part of the money for a bus ticket for one of the families to go home. Because of your generosity, Truck of Love provided the balance.

Sue continues her work with the St. Mary's Outreach. She was overjoyed when one of the women she has been assisting got a new place to live. The woman had lived in the same duplex for fifteen years. Never late on her rent, she was shocked just before Christmas when her landlord told her she would have to get out before January because the property was being condemned. The woman panicked, so afraid she would be on the street. She is disabled and has no car. So Sue took her to several rental
agencies to put in applications. Universally the agency representatives said she would have to have a monthly income equal to three times the rent. This was impossible because she receives only $734.00 each month in her disability check. That's when Sue was reminded once again how important it is for a person to have an advocate. She was able to convince the realtor that the woman would be able to pay her rent even though it would be $325.00 each month. And this woman now lives in a clean three room cottage.

Life is hard for people, but they are resilient. The women in the woods now have evening bible study. They are excited about having the large print bible Pete gave them, because their eyesight is too poor to read small text.

Just today we wrote a check to help a woman pay her $400.00 rent. Her husband died Christmas Eve and his Social Security check stopped. Now it will be at least the end of March before Social Security will straighten out her claim to his benefits. Though her landlord is patient, he does want his money. She had worked until recently, when she had to have surgery. As she recovers, the promise of her husband's check is all that keeps her off the street.

We thank God each day for you. We wish you could meet the people with whom we work. You are helping some of our society's most forgotten ones. For more complete stories go to our website www.truckoflove.org and look at Pete's Corner and Sue's Corner.

God bless you.

26th TOTOL Summer Day Camp
June 2-17, 2012
Pisinemo, Arizona
***EXPERIENCED COUNSELORS NEEDED***

Contact:
Cathy Baker (cbjoker8100@comcast.net)
or
Chrissy Rinki (crinki@gmail.com)

This will be the first year that the camp will be run by the O'Odham Nation. We are excited to help them in any
way we can. Camp costs a lot of money to put on. There are vans with many tanks of gasoline for transporting
the 200+ children and O'Odham counselors from their villages to camp in Pisinemo. There is food for two meals
each day for 200+ children, counselors and guest presenters. There are craft supplies, sports supplies, first aid
supplies and a myriad of little things that come up each day. Last year camp and leadership training cost more
than $30,000.00.

If you want to donate to keep camp going, send your checks to Truck of Love and please designate your check specifically to camp.

Truck of Love
1455 George Dunn Road
Rock Hill, SC 29730

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 2011

Dear Friends,

We thank God for you each day. We asked for your help – and you responded with such care – thank you.

Your prayers and donations allow us to help some of the most forgotten people in our world. Some will never be missed by anyone, others just want to be invisible, and others are desperate for someone to care about their plight. Each person has their own story and reason for being where we come across them.

Pete was sitting with a group of children in the woods recently and their conversation was about the upcoming “holidays”. One of the boys, who is seventeen years old and lives among the trees with his parents, had just asked Pete if it would be at all possible for Pete to get them a Nativity set for Christmas – so they could keep it near where they sleep in the woods.

“What is Nativity?” asked one of the little boys who was sitting with them.

The young man who had made the request said: “Nativity is when Jesus is born and everyone cares about each other.”

We’re going to think about that a lot as we work with the people during these winter months.

We are so grateful you care about God’s poor.

Sue was helping at the Outreach office in our parish last week, when a woman called to ask where she could get help paying for a motel room. Because of your generosity this woman and her husband and two children were able to stay at the motel, where they were two nights short on rent money, until her husband got his first paycheck at his new job. You also helped them with food for those two days.

In the last couple of weeks Pete has helped several people get bus tickets so they can go home. One man went home to his mother’s funeral. Others are leaving the area because they did not find the promised jobs.

Sue has been driving a woman to physical therapy two times each week for the past two months. This is a woman who has always worked, but last December she slipped on the ice on her back steps and broke her hip. In March, when Sue met her, she walked with a cane – leaning so far to the right that she looked as though she would fall over with each step. She had not gotten physical therapy, because at the time of the accident she didn’t have insurance. Finally with the help of the parish Outreach office, she was approved for disability and now has Medicaid insurance. Two months of physical therapy and she is walking upright – which is a great thing, because her feet are her only mode of transportation around town.

Pete is working with our parish to provide hot Thanksgiving meals for the communities he is serving in the woods and in local motels. The excitement at having a real hot meal is overwhelming. One boy in the woods told Pete that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just like all the other days. They collect cans along the highway so they can get money for recycling them -nothing special. Now he has something to look forward to.

Sue has been working with a lady who lives in a small one bedroom apartment. Her roof is leaking – water runs down the bathroom wall and into the light socket. She is afraid to pester the landlord – afraid he will kick her out. She was sure she could not find another place for the $185.00 she pays for rent each month – until Sue took her to the Rock Hill Housing Authority. She will put in her application on the second Wednesday of  November – Sue will sit with her and help her fill out the paperwork – she doesn’t read too well. Now she has real hope of a better living situation.

When these people and others ask us how we can buy food, give rides for free, help with utilities, buy medications and so many other things – we always tell them we know a lot of people who care. We thank you for continuing to care – all year round. You are bringing so much joy and light into so many lives.

Please look at our website www.truckoflove.org and read Pete’s Corner and Sue’s Corner for more detailed stories of the people we are working with.

We love the notes you write to us. Know we keep you all in our prayers and please continue to pray for us. “Stay all prayed up.” as people here so often say. It helps with all aspects of this life we share.

As a good friend of ours, Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C. , said: “It was all so simple a life, just to be full of Love.” To love as Jesus loves is to care as Jesus cares.

God bless you,
Pete and Sue Fulerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 2011

"Ten million different stars am I, But only one spirit, connecting all."
from Spirit Walker Poems by Nancy Wood

.

Dear Friends,

What a summer! On the last day of school, we picked up our twelve year old granddaughter, Samantha, from her home in Charlotte and began our drive to the Tohono O'Odham Nation in Arizona. Four days later, we were at camp. What a joy to share with Samantha the beauty of the desert and her people. We saw old friends, made new friends and thoroughly enjoyed this 25th summer of TOTOL Day Camp.

We are thankful to each of you whose generous donations helped to make this camp a reality. We are thankful for the leadership of Cathy Baker, Chrissy Rinki, Meighan Wilson and Amanda Dunwoody. We are grateful to Stanley Cruz and the Pisinemo District as well as HOPP and all the volunteers from the Nation, from various places in the U.S. and from Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California. We definitely worked as one spirit to make camp happen.

That same spirit draws us back to South Carolina where we continue our work with some of the forgotten people of our society. Pete is in the local woods each week ministering to the immediate needs of people who live among the trees. We find ourselves asking: "How did they get here?" "What do they do in the heat?" "What will they do in the snow?" "How can we help?"

Pete always tries to sit down with the people and listen to their needs. He watches how they treat each other and how they respond to him. In the beginning there is usually great skepticism toward this smiling man who brings water or bread or fruit. Gradually the shields come down and the people emerge with distinct personalities and life experience.

Pete came home one night and told me about Lilly. He said she was walking slowly around a meadow, picking flowers. She was wearing a dirty tattered dress with an equally filthy apron over it. He called her Lilly because of the image of lilies bordering the apron.

As the weeks have gone by, Pete has gotten to know Lilly and her "boyfriend". It turns out that the older man with her is more like a caretaker, because Lilly is blind. They have been together for many years. He watches over her and makes sure she is safe. Pete now brings them small things to improve their daily existence. They will continue to live in the woods.

Pete is also meeting many families who live in the very cheap motels around town. He has befriended some of the motel managers who tell him about some families who have great needs. There are lots of children living in these rundown motels. In the summer they do not have the advantage of the school lunch program. We help with bread and canned food. As summer ends, they will be picked up at the motels by the school bus. At school, they will receive free lunch and in many cases a food bag on Fridays provided by the generous school staffs.

We are hoping to create a holiday gift and food program for some of these families. We will definitely need your donations to do this.

Our work at the parish outreach continues as we help people get ID cards, birth certificates, food stamps, social security benefits, and Medicaid. Because there is no bus system here in Rock Hill, we do a lot of driving. It is impossible for people who have no transportation to access the help they need.

Among these poor, there is a huge incidence of disabilities. People have worked at physically demanding jobs, only to be injured and unable to work at the same jobs. Because of the lack of education it is not possible to get a "desk job" and so people end up unemployed and sleeping from couch to couch – wherever a friend or family member will help.

I hear myself say to person after person: "It's gonna work. You keep doing your part and we'll continue to help." There are ten million different stories out there, but truly one spirit – the spirit of love and hope that keeps us all going.

God bless you,
Pete and Sue Fullerton

Please look at our website: www.truckoflove.org there are many stories that, due to space, we cannot include in our newsletters. Look at Pete's Corner and Sue's Corner.

As summer comes to a close, we are in desperate need of your donations. Our income is not matching our expenditures. The bank account will soon be empty. Each month we have been spending between two and three thousand dollars just for food, bus tickets, and tarps for the many in need. Whatever you can give will be deeply appreciated.

As you look forward to the holiday season- also think of the people we serve. A gift of a warm coat or sweater or a festive meal will help to lift the spirit of a person when they realize they are not alone- there are people who care.

All donations will be made to Truck Of Love 1455 George Dunn Rd. , Rock Hill, S.C. 29730 Our phone number is 803-324-0173

Love, Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 2011

Dear Friends,

We keep thinking of the verses from Ecclesiates that begin: “There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven…” So many different occupations, so many evolving seasons. It is our challenge to hear God’s changing call and adapt.

And so it is that we will be going to Arizona this summer to celebrate, with the Tohono O’Odham Nation, the 25th year of TOTOL (Tohono O’Odham Truck of Love) Summer Day Camp. This is to be a transition year as we hand over the leadership responsibilities to our friends and partners of the Tohono O’Odham Nation. This will be the last year that Truck of Love will run camp. It will not mean an end to our relationships with the people or with camp as we fully intend to visit and support camp in the coming years. (Yes! We can still use your donations for this cause.)

We are grateful to Cathy Baker and Chrissy Rinki who have been co-directors in recent years. They have taken camp to a greater level of cooperation among the O’Odham and Truck of Love. We are also deeply appreciative for Truck of Love South and Scott & Mandy Bell as well as Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California and Meighan Wilson.

Chrissy Rinki has asked for your reflections on your camp experience. If you are a veteran of the TOTOL Camp experience – or the Mission San Jose Summer Day Camp (as it was called in the early years) – please consider taking a few moments to write down your reflections on how your experience on the Tohono O’Odham Nation and your camp experience were important to you. If you are a parent of a counselor we also welcome your reflections. If you have pictures they would be appreciated. These will be part of a memory book that will be shared online as well as given as a gift to the O’Odham communities that have welcomed us into their lives. Your Memory Book offerings must be sent to Chrissy Rinki, crinki@gmail.com, by May 16.

Our camp experience has changed our lives in ways we could never have imagined. We have met thousands of people who have influenced how we think, pray and live. We have seen young people turn their lives into vocations of working with and for the poor, the sick, and the disenfranchised people in this world. We are honored to have been given the gift of these years. We look forward to the next season for camp when the Pisin Mo’o District will take the baton of leadership.

At this time of year we also have our local work here in South Carolina. As we move from winter into spring, the needs are increasing.

Sue was in the soup kitchen this week when one of the homeless men, who had just gotten a job with the help of our Outreach Coordinator, came in to talk about what the next step would be for him. He is so eager to work and was trying to think through how long it will take him to get out of the shelter where he currently lives and get his own place. We went over the costs of first and last month’s rent, the set up for utilities, etc.  He spent some time trying to absorb what he needed to do.

As he started to leave, he turned and said: “When I can go to sleep in my own bed, I will know I have succeeded.”

Pete has been working with several families in abandoned houses in the woods. Recently we had some severe thunder and wind storms. Here in Rock Hill there were many homes damaged by fallen trees. So Pete was concerned as he ventured back to the woods to see the people he has been serving.

One young woman and her four year old daughter had set up their home under a tarp hung between two old houses. The night of the storm, the mom, Renee, had a hard time getting Jasmine, her daughter, to sleep because of all the lightening and thunder. Finally they both slept, only to be interrupted abruptly at 2:30am when Renee heard a loud crack and became pinned to the ground under the tarp by a huge hickory tree. Renee could hear Jasmine screaming above the thunder and rain, but was unable to get up to go to her. Jasmine was also pinned under the tarp, but on the other side of the tree. All Renee could do was pray. Her eyes were wide open looking into the tarp, listening to Jasmine scream, when the outline of a man appeared.

She screamed “Get me outa’ here!”

The next lightning struck and the form of the man appeared above her with his finger to his mouth and he said, ”Don’t be afraid.”

At just that instant Jasmine stopped crying. Renee felt an unexplained calm, like everything was going to be ok. A few minutes later Renee’s neighbor, Fredric, rescued her and Jasmine from under the tarp.

Renee asked Fredric, “Did you see the fella standing over me, or was that you?”

“Wasn’t me. I heard Jasmine scream, so I coma’ runnin.”

Renee asked Jasmine how she remembered the situation. She said, “I was scared until the man standing over me told me not to be scared.”

“What did the man look like?” Renee asked Jasmine.

“He looked like blue light, and he had a smile, and I wasn’t scared anymore.”

In this Easter Season, we are reminded that there is a time for everything. A time for us to listen, a time for us to hear, a time for us to let go, a time for us to encourage, a time for us to live our faith, a time to love each other and this gift of life.

Thank you for being a part of this journey with us. We need your prayers and appreciate your donations. You are giving people hope in the form of water, food, tarps, bicycles, medicine, transportation to doctors and hospitals, and any number of other life necessities. You have kept TOTOL Camp going for 25 years. Your history of generosity has changed lives. Thank you.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

January 2011

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continuing generosity with Truck of Love. Your prayers and donations make it possible for
us to serve some of the most forgotten people in our country. Many of you wrote beautiful and touching notes to
us over this past Christmas. We thank you and we thank God for your presence in our lives. Your assistance to
Truck of Love is making this winter less harsh and more bearable for so many.

Over the years of working with the poor, we have been blessed to witness many miracles. We are reminded of
Jesus' words in the Gospel of Matthew: "…blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they
hear." We know there are daily miracles all around us – the events or people who cause us to marvel in wonder at
the awesomeness of our all-present Creator.

The day before Christmas, Pete was delivering a cooked Christmas dinner to the community he has been serving
who live in the woods near us. One of the men helping him unload his truck had recently lost his wife. "Scout"
as he is called, had previously shared with Pete how his wife had taken sick and died. This day, as Scout was
assisting Pete, he was talking about his wife and how he wished he had been able to give her the one thing she
had always dreamed about.

Pete asked what her dream had been. Scout said his wife had always wanted a pair of pink satin high heels.

Shoes! Pink, satin, high heeled shoes! That was not what Pete had expected to hear.

They finished unloading the truck and Pete was giving Scout the last of the food bags from inside his truck cab
when he noticed one last bag on the floor of the cab behind the driver's seat. He bent over to retrieve the bag and
saw something pink inside. As he lifted the bag, he opened it and found a pair of pink satin high heels.

Pete handed the bag to Scout and said, "Here they are." He and Scout stood with tears in their eyes in silent
amazement. Scout took the shoes and walked away.

Those of you who know Pete are aware that he is constantly moving food and clothing with his truck. He says he
never saw those pink high heels enter his truck.

Some miracles happen over time. For the past 24 summers we have been part of the unfolding miracle of what
began as the Mission San Jose Summer Day Camp and has evolved into the TOTOL Day Camp on the Tohono
O'Odham Nation in Arizona. This next June will be summer twenty-five!

In the spring of 1986, as we were leaving the village of Pisinemo, having delivered a truck load of clothing and
household items to the Mission, I asked Sister Patrice: "Is there anything else we can do for you?"

Her reply was very simple: "Can you help us create a day camp for the children? The boarding schools have
closed and the children will be home all the time now. Summers are long and hot and there is nothing for the
children to do."

My reply (as my thoughts and concerns raced around my brain): "Yes. We've never done anything like this, but
we work with youth and I'm sure we can get people to help."

We had no idea how to "do" a camp. We'd been loosely connected with some small camps that our children
attended. We'd worked with youth in our home parish of St. Nicholas in Los Altos, California. We were brimming
over with willingness. But we'd never run a camp.

Three months later we were there with nine brave volunteers (including us) and camp happened. We like to say it
was one of the hardest and best weeks of our life. That week changed our lives.

I often tell the story of the morning that altered my outlook on what was happening at camp. It was about 6am on
the Wednesday and I was exhausted, looking for some peace in the morning desert. I was walking across the
basketball court anguishing over the events of the first two days of camp. The children were so quiet. It was hard
to know if they were happy to be at camp. The volunteers we'd brought with us were beyond exhaustion. Sister
Patrice and Sister Anne were laboring in the kitchen with no air conditioning. The days were hot and long and
then the monsoon rains made everything just a little more difficult.

As I walked that morning, I saw a person running from the east side of the village. She got closer and I saw it was
one of the girls in my teen group. She ran toward me and without slowing, reached out and pushed a crumpled
piece of paper into my hand. I stopped and uncurled the remnant of paper that had a poem written on it. I've lost
the paper and the poem, but the message is still clear in my mind. She had written: Why do these people come
700 miles to be with us – why? They come here because they love us.

We have been blessed to see and hear. We thank God for these marvelous awesome twenty five summers.

If you have stories about summer camp that you'd like to share, please send them to us. We'd love to make a
place on our website for your memories. If you want to contribute to this summer's camp – we'll gladly accept your
donations – make your checks payable to Truck of Love and designate them for camp. If you want to be part of
the summer camp staff volunteers please e-mail Cathy Baker at cbjoker8100@comcast.net This summer the
camp dates will be June 11-26. All camp volunteers must be present for the full two weeks.

Please check out our website www.truckoflove.org We are writing more stories about our daily work in "Pete's
Corner" and "Sue's Corner".

Know that we think of you and keep you in our prayers. Please pray for us and the people you help us serve
through Truck of Love.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 2010

Dear Friends,

“Preach the Gospel always: when necessary use words.” This quote is commonly attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi who is one of our heroes. He was a man of action deeply rooted in Gospel values. He had a difficult time embracing his call from God because it was so counter to the culture of his time.

We too have struggled over the years to follow God’s call. For us this had led to a devotion to the forgotten people in our society – the people who fall through the cracks.

Since moving here to South Carolina, we have been drawn into our parish and the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen. As you read in our last newsletter, we have been helping a lot by driving people to the far flung agencies that will help them. Here in Rock
Hill there is no regular bus service.

One day recently I was attempting to help a man apply for a job. It seemed like a simple thing, but he needed a South Carolina ID to apply. The problem was that his ID had expired several years ago because he did not have the five dollars to renew it. In order to get a new ID he needed a birth certificate, social security card and proof of residency. A trip across town to the county records office and we discovered he could not get a birth certificate without a South Carolina ID. This meant a drive south of here to Chester where his mother lives so she could go into the records office and apply to get a birth certificate. We’re still working on the ID because a second trip to the DMV required that we have a social security number.

The problem with the social security number is that when his mother applied for his social security card she used his nick name, not the name on his birth certificate. She never went to the county to clear it up, so he has worked in the past under one name, but his ID was in another. That hadn’t mattered in the old days, but in our post 9/11 world it matters a lot.

This gentleman wants to work, but he cannot even apply for a job until he gets his records straightened out. As we drove from place to place, I kept talking with him and encouraging him to keep coming back to the kitchen. He apologized for making me go to all this trouble. I don’t want him to get discouraged and give up. He sleeps in the homes of various friends and simply wants to be working and be able to have his own place.

Lots of men and women come to the soup kitchen looking for food, help finding work, getting medication or food stamps or ID cards or any number of other things we all have. But many people in need do not come to the soup kitchen. There is a whole society that does not trust the system. These might be people who have worked their whole lives, only to find that since they have been paid in cash, they have no benefits. They are sometimes just out of jail. Some have recently lost a job and simply cannot go to a shelter because they do not want to be separated from their families.

Since our move here, Pete has been drawn to the woods. He sees encampments as he drives the rural roads. Being Pete, he stops his truck and ventures into the trees to see if people need help. Because of this, and his willingness to listen to people’s stories, he has met a large community of individuals who live “off the grid”. These people work when they can and some panhandle. They live a hard life. Some are stopping in the area on their way somewhere else. Some look as though they are there for the long term. What they all seem to have in common is their heartiness and creativeness and ability to survive. They have some common fears as gunshots ring out in the woods during hunting season. They each have need for shelter and warmth as the rain and cold start to settle in.

Pete was recently introduced to an elderly couple who live in the woods, the Foleys. Here’s Pete’s story in his words:

When I was introduced to Mrs. Foley, I couldn't see her husband who was standing behind a tree. The young man who introduced her to me was almost reverent in his approach to her. She appeared to be in her mid-sixties and was toothless. Her gaunt face showed many years of hardship and neglect.

"Who are you?" she asked me.

I said hello and introduced myself. I explained what I'd been doing with people who live in the woods.

She gave me a slow shallow grunt then stuffed her mouth with an enormous amount of white bread and walked behind a large tree. An older man came into the open from behind that tree and faced me as his wife disappeared. Mr. Foley wasn't able to talk very well, so the young man who had introduced me to Mrs. Foley took up the conversation.

"Mr. Foley's been sick and can't talk too good, mister. What'cha think's wrong with 'im?"

The entire right side of Mr. Foley's face was swollen and his eye was shut. He was holding his jaw as though he was in pain. What he had looked like a tooth ache, but I am no doctor, so I couldn't diagnose his malady.

"Can you talk?" I asked Mr. Foley.

He nodded his head and said: "I've got a toof ache."

I offered to take him to a dentist to have the tooth looked at, but he declined saying he was a Seventh Day Adventist, and that he did not believe in doctors or medicine.

"Well then, what if I go to the health food store and see what I can get to help you?" I asked.

Mr. Foley thought that would be alright then added, "But no doctors!"

Mrs. Foley came from her hiding place behind the tree. Her cheeks were bulging with the bread she had been chewing. She quietly removed the mass of soft dough from her mouth and fed it gently to her husband who could barely swallow it. She fully intended that he not die of starvation.

I left them to eat and went off to the store. After getting advice from a helpful pharmacist, I returned armed with three bee pollen and clove oil and passed on the pharmacist's instructions.

Three days later I went back into the forest with high hopes and I was not disappointed. Mr. Foley had undergone a remarkable healing. His demeanor was jubilant, and he was dancing around like a little boy.

I am now accepted as a member of this small community living on their own, off the grid, in the forest. I am learning things every day I would never have known about forest living or about the people living there.

A few days ago I was sitting with the Foleys. I watched as they lifted rocks from the fire pit with sticks and placed them in a large pot of water. Soon the water was boiling. Silent couples came through the surrounding trees to sit and wait. They each carried small bundles. One couple brought an onion. Another pair brought celery. Several more added carrots, potatoes and anything else they had retrieved from various dumpsters located behind local grocery stores. Finally after several more rounds of hot rocks, the soup was hot and the vegetables were cooked and all began to eat.

I've been making regular trips to these woods with tarps, blankets, water, bread and whatever other small needs the people have. My reward came as a complete surprise when Mr. Foley who is feeling so good joyfully exclaimed to me one day, "I think I will become a Catholic!"

We are reminded once again: "Preach the Gospel always: when necessary use words."

God bless you all for your continued help.

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 2010

 Dear Friends,

We wish each of you could witness what happens at the TOTOL Daycamp in Arizona! In June we were blessed to be able to travel to Arizona where the 24th summer of TOTOL Camp with the children of the Tohono O’Odham Nation was another great success.   Students from Saint Francis High School in Mountain View, California joined faithful camp leaders Chrissy Rinki, Cathy Baker, and Meighan Wilson to make this experience a reality for more than 200 O’Odham campers and counselors.  Watching our Truck of Love volunteers working so hard and so joyously with their O’Odham partners - all for the good of the children - was inspiring.  Everyone is  looking forward to next year when camp will be twenty-five years old!

Thank you for your continuing support in prayer and donations.  Camp continues because of you and the dedication of lots of volunteers who offer their time and talents so the children of the desert can have a fun and informative camp experience.

Since our return from Arizona, we have had a very long hot summer.  Most of the people we serve do not have cars. They walk or ride bikes-which can be dangerous when it is 90 degrees and 80% humidity!

Pete routinely visits some areas of the local woods where people have set up camps. Often these people have been lured to Rock Hill by the promise of work. When they arrive they frequently find that there is no work and no place where they can afford to live. Pete always takes water to the people and then discovers what other needs they may have. Cook stoves, tarps, Styrofoam coolers, ice, sleeping bags, underwear, bike tires and tubes, and food seem to be the most requested. 

Both Pete and I have been working with our new St. Mary’s Parish outreach coordinator who is assisting the guests of the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen located in our parish hall. We also help with the purchase of needed items for the soup kitchen such as paper goods and cleaning supplies. 

Many of the soup kitchen guests are in need of very basic things like South Carolina ID cards, duplicate Social Security cards, updates on food stamps, rental or utility assistance. Some need to go to the doctor or to job interviews. Transportation is a problem here as there is no regular bus service. Pete and I do a lot of driving because Rock Hill is very spread out and it can be ten miles or more from one place to another.

In the process of driving people about, we are building relationships that are very special. One day last week, I accompanied a woman, May, to an appointment with her social worker. We sat in the office waiting room for quite some time. May told me a little bit about her life, we shared a few family stories. When it was time for her to be called in to her appointment, she invited me to come in with her. I sat in the corner and listened as she talked to her social worker about her desire to get into a drug rehabilitation program. The social worker was amazing with her and soon was on the phone and had a place for her in Charlotte, NC. All May needed was a ride to get there and she would be admitted to the 28 day drug rehab program.

Off May and I went to Charlotte where we again sat together in another waiting room.  With my help, she filled out multiple forms. She put down my phone number as an emergency contact.

May and I waited almost three hours before she was seen by the staff. After being assured that she was safe and was admitted to the program, I started to say goodbye. She turned to me and threw her arms around me and said, “I love you!” and then was gone through the door.

I just met May. She opened herself to me and shared some bits of her life story with me. She was a gift to me. I look forward to picking her up at the end of her 28 days.

We thank you so much for enabling us to do this work. Thank you for your prayers and your continuing donations. We find at this time of year that donations are pretty slim. Since our move to South Carolina our donations have dropped markedly. We have cut back on our assistance to individual people because we just don’t have the money. But some things are necessities:   $5.00 for a prescription for high blood pressure (there is a co pay on Medicaid), water for families living in the woods, or gas for the cars so we can take people to their appointments.

Pete and I and Truck of Love will continue to work with the poor here in our new home town of Rock Hill. Though we cannot give each person what they want, we know God will provide all we need.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 2010

“I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was naked and you clothed me;
I was homeless and you took me in.”

-Jesus (paraphrased by Mother Teresa)

“Hungry not only for bread – but hungry for love; Naked not only for clothing- but naked of human dignity and respect;
Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks – but homeless because of rejection. This is Christ in distressing disguise.”

-Mother Teresa

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter!

If you have ever lived in a place where it snows, you know the beauty that is Easter and spring. It is truly a period where new life accosts all the senses. Of all the seasons, this is the one where renewed hope takes over. The dark and cold of winter is past and all things are possible.

This spirit of hope drives us ever more to make sure that the people we encounter are not hungry for the basic necessities of life for the body or the spirit.  The promise of Easter requires us to reach out to those who seem abandoned and lost - or as Mother Teresa says: “hungry for love”.

“Christ in distressing disguise” greets us each day here in Rock Hill, South Carolina in many different forms. He is the man on the corner with the sign asking for food. She is the former prostitute who can no longer work because of illness. He is the man just released from prison, eating at the soup kitchen and looking for a place and way to live in peace.  She is the woman on Medicaid who is paralyzed and needs help to get a motorized wheelchair.  He is the neighbor who needs a listening ear.

Each day we thank God for you. Your prayers and donations make it possible for Truck of Love to continue to help the hungry and the homeless. We know many of you are having financial troubles of your own. The notes of encouragement you send to us are treasured even more because we know of your struggles.  This is a very difficult time for you and the people we serve. Our prayers are with you.

This summer we will travel back to Arizona for a short time to be present for some of the TOTOL (Tohono O’Odham Truck of Love) summer day camp in the village of Pisinemo on the Tohono O’Odham Nation in Southern Arizona. We look forward to seeing many old friends and meeting lots of new campers and counselors. Your support of this camp has offered hope to several generations of the O’Odham.

Our partnership with the O’Odham has grown far beyond any expectation we may have had. Both the out-of-state counselors and the children of the O’Odham Nation have benefitted from our connection. In the past twenty four summers we have watched children grow into adults. Children of our first generation campers now come to camp. Parents and grandparents of campers come to help. Tribal organizations and individual tribal members come to camp to share O’Odham customs and wisdom. TOTOL Camp is our Easter offering of hope and new life. So many people who come to camp talk long after it is over about the spirit they feel during camp. Our campers and counselors now have a long history of creating a place where we can each experience the spirit of the risen Christ – where each person is treated with respect, dignity, love and acceptance.

Each of you has been a vital part of this camp experience. Some of you have been counselors, some of you donate money and others of you keep us in prayer. Whatever your role, we need you. We thank you for your continuing help.

This year the TOTOL Camp and leadership training will be June 14-25. Please remember all of us in prayer during this time.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

.

February 2010

Dear Friends,

I came across a quote from Henri Nouwen the other day that struck home: “…community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but of one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own. The question, therefore, is not ‘How can we make community?’ but, ‘How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?’”

We thank you for your giving hearts. We thank you for being part of our community of Truck of Love. We thank you for your ongoing support of this work of reaching out to people who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. Your notes of encouragement, your donations and your prayers are an inspiration to us.

Each day that we wake up here in Rock Hill, South Carolina and read our morning paper, we are gifted with stories of people helping each other. We quickly discovered here in our new town, that there is a great outpouring of help for people in need. It has been our task these few months to see where we can fit into what is already happening. We continue to find little places that seem to be invisible.

Today, Pete is working with a family of four who live in two tents in the woods. They came to Rock Hill with the promise of a job that did not materialize. They have been in the woods about a month.  In that time we have had two weeks of nights below freezing temperatures as well as about six inches of rain. The Dad looks for work with a seat-less bike as his transportation. He is attempting to make money any way he can. Today Pete was able to help him transport two water heaters (that a homeowner wanted to get rid of) to a recycling center where he was delighted to get $35.00! Pete has helped the family with tarps, sleeping bags, shoes, cooking fuel, and a bike seat. One step at a time…

We are learning more about where to send people for help with their utility bills, where to find shelter and where to get a meal. There is always a need for transportation and a listening ear. It looks like there is plenty of work for Truck of Love here in Rock Hill.

We are looking forward to this summer and the 24th annual TOTOL (Tohono O’odham Truck of Love ) summer day camp and leadership training. There is a dedicated group of “Truck of Lovers” who are who are responsible for the operation of this yearly event in the Arizona desert: Chrissy Rinki, Cathy Baker, Meghan Wilson, and Scott and Mandy Bell with Truck of Love South. Camp costs about $24,000.00 to operate for two weeks. The money goes to transportation/gas (some children and counselors come from villages more than fifty miles away from camp), food (there is a kitchen staff that prepare breakfast and lunch for over 200 participants), and materials for arts and crafts and sports.

During the summer, this is the largest gathering of children on the O’odham Nation. Over the past 23 years summers there have been thousands of O’odham who have come to camp. There have been hundreds of volunteers from all over the world who have come together to make camp happen. We have witnessed a generation grow up. We have been honored to be able to be a vehicle for sharing O’odham heritage. Some of our campers have gone on to college. Some work in tribal agencies and live and raise their families in their villages. Each summer former campers come back - if just for a short visit - to reconnect with the staff who they know and with that feeling of love and acceptance that is present throughout the camp experience.

The O’odham campers have benefitted greatly from TOTOL Camp. But our volunteers also have had life changing experiences.  Truck of Love South is interested in hearing your stories and keeping in touch with you. You can e-mail them at TOTOLCamp@gmail.com .They want to create a place where you can be in touch with others who have experienced camp on the Tohono O’odham Nation. They would love to hear our stories about time with Truck of Love. They also want to build a network of people who want to see camp continue.

Truck of Love will send at least $12,000.00 to help camp this summer. Truck of Love South is looking for more donations to the reach the actual cost of camp.

Thank you for your giving hearts. We love hearing from you and we will continue to help you in our prayers. Please pray for us.

God bless you and your families,

Pete and Sue



We are grateful to each of you for your continuing support of the work of Truck of love. We appreciate your spreading the word. Please pass on this newsletter to someone you think might be interested in our mission to serve God’s poor. Or refer your friends to the Truck of Love website: www.truckoflove.org 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 2009

Dear Friends,

Greetings from South Carolina! We are surely enjoying the changing of the colors of the trees here! As we go out each day we have God’s magnificence assaulting us from every side. The rain has made the grass green and on sunny or cloudy days, there cannot be a more beautiful place.

The rain and chilly temps make it especially difficult for the homeless people here. We understand that our city of Rock Hill will open emergency shelters on November 1 and keep them open until February. This is good news. The soup kitchens are busy serving more people than ever, because of the high unemployment. The schools are providing lunches to children at no cost and even collecting food to send home with them on weekends – because so many children come to school hungry.

Truck of Love is still filling in the cracks. Men, women and families in shelters need money for toiletries or underwear. People who have no place to go in the daytime need rain ponchos to help them stay dry. One man needed a bicycle so he could get around town. Another man was in tears when Pete handed him a few dollars for necessities.

Pete has met some people who choose to stay out of the “system” (because of pride or distrust) and live in the woods. Many of these people came to Rock Hill looking for work. Truck of Love has helped them with food, tarps and small cooking stoves to help them survive until work becomes available.

Your generosity makes this possible.  We thank God each day for you.

We have been blessed to become part of an amazing parish here in Rock Hill, St. Mary Catholic Church. This week we had a “revival” led by Rev. Roy Lee, currently from Decatur, Georgia. The theme was “Charge, Challenge and Choice”.  The final evening, Fr. Lee reminded us that God gives each of us the choice to follow Him. This choice involves stepping out of ourselves and letting God step in.  As followers of Jesus, we are called to prayer and action. God has given each of us unique gifts that are meant to be used – in our families, the workplace, and our communities.

Over these many years of working with the people involved with Truck of Love, we have been blessed to witness what happens when people forget themselves and reach out to another human being.  Jesus doesn’t ask us to change the world with grand gestures. He simply asks us to care for the people around us.  That’s all Truck of Love has done over the years. You have helped us respond to the need of individual people. As Mother Theresa was fond of saying – if she hadn’t picked up that one person, the thousands would not have been helped. It begins with helping one person.

Our prayer this holiday season is that each of us can answer the call of Jesus to overcome our fear and follow Him. We thank you for helping us respond to the people here in South Carolina.

God bless you. 

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 9th, 2009

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your overwhelming presence and support at our Truck of Love Dinner that took place on May 2.   What a wonderful celebration of you – our faithful friends. We are grateful to St. William’s Parish and Father Paul Weisbeck for a wonderful liturgy and the use of the parish hall. We thank Scott and Russell Bell for our music, students from Saint Francis High School who helped serve and clean up, and our Board of Directors who are such an inspiration to us. We wanted this celebration to highlight you – because Truck of Love cannot exist without each of you who prays for us and supports us in so many ways.

Our summer journey began in the first week of June when we accompanied thirteen students during the Saint Francis High School San Jose Immersion. It was a graced experience from Monday through Friday. We worked with people in shelters and soup kitchens. We had great experiences with children and the elderly.  We feel blessed that this was our final event before Sue’s retirement from Saint Francis High School.

On June 17 we headed east to Arizona. We spent two days with the staff of the TOTOL (Tohono O’Odham Truck of Love) Summer Day Camp in the small village of Pisinemo on the Tohono O’Odham Indian Nation. This was the twenty- third summer of camp. It is an annual highlight for more than 230 O’Odham (children and adults). This year the daily activities included presenters from KOHN  (the O’Odham radio station), Bernard Siquieros from the Tohono O’Odham Cultural Center, Kitt Peak National Observatory (who built the solar system with the children out of toilet paper and play-dough), HOPP (Healthy O’Odham Promotion Program, and Jonas Robles (an elder who talked about traditional O’Odham games). Thank you for your donations that keep camp going. We’ve seen lots of changes in 23 years. Our friends on the reservation can hardly wait for next year!

After camp we continued east to our new home in Rock Hill, South Carolina. We have now been here five weeks. Rock Hill is a very spread out city of about 60,000 people. Unemployment is between 12 and 23 percent – depending on who we talk with. The people are hardworking, loving, gracious and welcoming. 

We have discovered a whole new world for Truck of Love.  Pete is out each day, meeting people in the neighborhood, visiting shelters and soup kitchens, or hanging out at the senior center down the road on the Catawba Indian Reservation.

In one short week, he managed to fund the repair of the washer and dryer in a downtown woman’s shelter.  He supplemented donations by buying butter and soap for another shelter. 

Pete met a woman who was trying to get home to Georgia. She and her husband had come to Rock Hill to work. When the jobs ended, her husband returned to Georgia to find new work. The wife was left behind with their three children until the Dad could afford to bring them home too. Their time at the local shelter was at an end and they still had no way home.

Because there is no longer a Greyhound bus stop in Rock Hill and the taxi ride is $50, Pete drove the woman and her three children into Charlotte, North Carolina to catch a bus to take them to their home. He was able to buy the four bus tickets and give them some food money to help them on the six hour ride.

This morning Pete visited with an 81 year old man, a former bricklayer, who lives in a local shelter. His monthly income is $127.00. Pete was able to give him money for shoes and socks.

We are reminded of  the gospel about Jesus feeding the five thousand. The story tells how when Jesus asked, a young boy gave up his few barley loaves and fish and all were fed. That gospel comes alive with each donation we receive. A pair of shoes, a bus ticket, or some laundry soap – we share what you provide.

The end of summer finds us assisting people in our new home Rock Hill, South Carolina. The work of Truck of Love goes on. However at this time of year we are counting our pennies. We are ever grateful for your donations and assure you that they still go to people in need.

Thank you for your support. 

God bless you,

Pete and Sue

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 2009

Dear friends of Truck of Love,

Thank you for your continuing support and good wishes. We have sold our home, and are preparing to relocate in South Carolina in mid-June.

Truck of Love
1455 George Dunn Rd.
Rock Hill, SC 29730

We are winding down our work in the Bay area, but are still helping people with food, bus passes, gas to get to work and an occasional night in a motel or help with rent.

As we say goodbye to the people we have been helping, they have two responses: “What are we going to do without you?” and then “I’m going to try to do what you do – collect a little from lots of people and help the people in my building” (or street or neighborhood). As we leave this area to go elsewhere, it is our hope that each of you reaches out to at least one person. Wherever it is – carrying bottles of water in your car to give to people who are holding signs at the off-ramp of the freeway or buying an extra hamburger for the person waiting outside McDonald’s – it is important for each of us to do as Jesus commands: “fear not” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”.

Since the announcement of our move, we have heard from several people who live in the South Carolina area. It seems there will be many opportunities for Truck of Love in the east. We will keep you posted on our adventures.

For now, your donations can still be mailed to PO Box 269, Los Altos, CA 94023, or to our new address: 1455 George Dunn Rd. Rock Hill, South Carolina 29730.

                     You can also reach us by e-mail at: peteandsue@netgate.net

May our wonderful Lord bless, and keep you,

Truck of Love-
Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February 2009

.

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continuing support and encouragement through your donations and your prayers. Many of you sent checks at Christmas time with notes that read something like this: “My friends [family] and I decided this year we did not need anything. We want to make a donation to Truck of Love in honor of each other.” You have brightened the lives of several hundred people – during the Holidays, but also every day.

This year, 2009, will be a year of change in many ways. A small change for Truck of Love will be Sue’s retirement from Saint Francis High School Campus Ministry in June. This will enable Sue to spend more time with Pete in his work with the poor. This also means that Sue and Pete will be selling their house in downtown San Jose. The plan is to move to South Carolina after the house sells.

Truck of Love has served the poor for over forty years. In 1968 Gordon Stewart began the work at our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Union City where Father Elias Galvez was a young priest. When Gordon began taking truckloads of food and clothing to Arizona where Father Elias moved to serve the poorest of the poor; Gordon’s project was dubbed “Truck of Love” by his 13 year old daughter, Leslie. Pete and Sue got involved in 1971 when Pete made a fateful trip with Gordon and came home telling Sue about the hungry children they had encountered in the Arizona desert. Gordon died in 1978 and Pete took over the work; expanding to the Tohono O’Odham Nation in Arizona, colonias outside Tijuana, Mexico and work with the street people in the San Francisco Bay area. Truck of Love still supports Father Elias with his work where he is now stationed with Franciscan Ministries in Guaymas, Mexico.

No matter where Sue and Pete live, the work of Truck of Love will continue. Our intention is to continue, with your generosity, to support the camp in Arizona where we have enjoyed twenty three- years of collaboration with the people of the Tohono O’Odham Nation. We will continue to help Father Elias in his current ministry with the poor in Guaymas, Mexico. We will also go to South Carolina with our eyes and hearts open to the needs of the people there.  We are excited to see where God will lead us.

We are deeply grateful for your support over all these years. Know that we will continue to use your donations for those people God puts in our path.

God bless you, 

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

October 31st, 2008

“God is hidden in those realities we most often shun, and run from: People who are broken and in pain; our own brokenness, our own pain.” 

Dear Friends of Truck of Love,

We thank you for your continued support of our work. As you know too vividly, the needs of our society are becoming greater every day. It is a struggle some days for us to see God in the attitudes of the desperate people we encounter and yet, it is when we find God in each person that we realize the joys of this ministry.

This holiday season will see many of us “tightening our belts” because of the financial unrest in our world. We just had a discussion about how we, Truck of Love, can spread our donations among the people who call on us for help. It is looking like there will be less meat, less vegetables and fruit, less eggs and bread, and more rice and beans. Pete goes shopping each day with women who have no way to get to the store. What cost $70 last week, cost $100 yesterday.

Three times in recent days, Pete has talked with women who are so desperate to feed their families that they became unreasonable and irrational when he explained the little bit that Truck of Love could do. Instead of accepting something, they left – went away – with nothing. We have not seen this kind of desperation before. We have to look deep to see God in these situations – but certainly this is Christ crucified. We pray for them daily.

The good news is that there are many we can help in concrete ways. Each day we offer people assistance with transportation, food, quarters for laundry, or a ride to the grocery store or clinic. Many people are grateful for what Truck of Love can do. We constantly remind them of the generosity of you who give so much to Truck of Love.

Truck of Love exists because of you. It has been 42 years since the first truck went to Arizona. Over all these years you, our donors have kept this work going. You are individuals as well as groups. St. Lawrence School in Santa Clara recently collected school supplies for children. In august, Los Altos United Methodist Church collected for us with their Buck-of-the-Month program.

St. William Catholic Church has a bi-monthly collection for Truck of Love. The people we serve thank you all.

We enter this holiday season with great hope. The more we see the person of Christ in each person and in ourselves, the more joy we discover in our daily struggles. We are in this work together with you and because of you. Thank you for being the presence of Christ to us.

NOTE:  “Old Men Dream”, Pete’s story about his journey of homelessness, has touched so many people in such personal ways we could only imagine before publication. We are grateful to each of you who have written to share the insights you have received from reading this story. We are attempting to get this book out to all of you. If you want more copies, please let us know. We just want people to read it – we feel blessed to be able to help people understand life from a different perspective. Thank you.

In the peace of our Christ,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August 2008

Dear Friends,

Summer began, as it has each June for the past several years, with our involvement in the Saint Francis High School San Jose Immersion. Ten students, who will enter their senior year in August, spent a week working with people whose lives are very different from theirs. We met men at the St. Joseph the Worker Center where they go to find work, take a shower, or eat a meal. We ate with the clients of Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen. We prepared meals for and visited with the ladies who reside at the Catholic Worker House. We spent a day at the First Christian Church doing some odd jobs and later fixing dinner and meeting with the houseless residents to hear their stories. We helped the elderly at the John XXIII Day Center. We worked with the children at Washington school and spent some quality time with the teens at Washington United Youth Center (where we had a very spirited game of indoor soccer!). We spent the whole week working, playing, laughing and praying together.  Mostly that week we built relationships and broke down barriers that seem to separate us from so many people in need.

Our final challenge to the ten students came from some left over bottles of water. On the last morning of the Immersion, each student received two bottles and we asked them to give those bottles to someone in need over the weekend (water is a rare commodity for the poor on the streets of San Jose). We can hardly wait to meet with the students in August to hear their stories.

Summer continued with an amazing summer trip which included a visit to the Tohono O’Odham Nation in Arizona. We were present on the opening day of the 22nd annual TOTOL (Tohono O’Odham Truck of Love) Day Camp. The opening blessing was given by an O’Odham woman, Verna. She emphasized reverence for life and the sacredness of each person. We needed her message and her presence because just a week prior to camp one of our O’Odham counselors had been killed in an auto accident. Verna helped us to acknowledge the loss of Leah and to honor her memory by being present at one of the things Leah loved – TOTOL Camp.

Following Verna’s blessing, Stanley Cruz, Pisinemo District Chairman welcomed all the campers and counselors. He first spoke to the children in their native O’Odham language and then continued in English. He told the children how important it is for them to hear their language and learn the O’Odham customs. He told the children to ask their elders about the sacred mountain in each of their districts. He emphasized how important it is for the children to understand where they have come from so they can know who they are.

He also spoke of the TOTOL Camp experience. He said that this year the Pisinemo District granted the camp a four year automatic extension of permission to be in Pisinemo. This is a great honor because we have gone to the district council each year to receive permission to come to the Nation with camp.

For the second year we were able to conduct camp in the Pisinemo Recreation Center which is under the direction of Samuel Fayaunt. This is a beautiful new center which makes everything about camp easier – there is even air conditioning! We are very thankful to Samuel and his dedicated staff for welcoming us into this space.

We saw many old friends who have been at camp since that first year, 22 summers ago. There were several campers who are children of previous campers and many counselors who have graduated from camper to counselor and a dedicated kitchen staff. Camp cannot function properly without the timely, efficient kitchen crew who prepare two tasty meals each day for 180 people! The dedication of the O’Odham and the visiting counselors is inspiring. Days begin between 5 and 6am and often go until 11pm when exhausted staff fall onto the ground under the stars for a short, warm night’s sleep (unless they are awakened by the summer monsoons that dump like a waterfall on unsuspecting sleepers!). We’ve always said we can do anything for a couple of weeks!

We have been blessed over the years to meet and work with people of many different backgrounds and beliefs. We find ourselves at the end of this summer embracing a deep gratitude to God for directing us and supporting us. We find God through the presence of each person we meet. Each of us comes in need. Each of us has some gift to offer. Each of us benefits from our relationship with the other.

It can be as simple as the man who knocked on our door last night. He rides a bike because he has no other means of transportation. He had fallen off the bike and scraped his hand. When we opened the door he showed us his little wound. We brought him in, washed his hand, put a tiny band aide on the cut and sent him on his way. He just needed to show someone who would care, to talk to someone who would listen, to receive a tiny bit of comfort. Each of us can do that.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

.

Pete’s book, “Old Men Dream”, has been getting rave reviews.

People are saying: “I couldn’t put it down, but I wanted it to last forever.”; “I cannot find the words to express my love of this book.”; “Would you please send a copy to my friend who was visiting and read only half way through….” ; “I want God to be that real in my life again.”

This book is the result of the diary that Pete kept when he made a trip eleven years ago as a homeless person. This is a story of what happens when we respond to God’s invitation. Let us know if you’d like a copy.

.

.

.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April 2008

“…I will pour out My Spirit upon all mankind.
 …your old men shall dream dreams,
your young men shall see visions…” Joel 3, 1

Dear Friends,

In the Book of Joel, the prophet describes the working of the Spirit among the people and the renewal of our lives as children of God.

Truck of Love is the result of the Spirit challenging us to renew our lives and the lives of the poor by treating each person with the dignity and respect due to every child of God. A typical day of renewal for Pete and Truck of Love goes like this:

8am     A young man comes to the door of our home. He’s swaying in the doorway, his speech is slurred and difficult to understand. He has a vacant look and tells Pete for the fifteenth time this year that it is his birthday. He wants “something”. Pete listens. Eventually the young man walks on down the street.

8:30am  Pete is off to take an elderly woman grocery shopping. This woman lives with her two granddaughters. She works but can’t make enough money to pay the rent and buy groceries.

10:30am  As Pete is driving home he sees a young woman standing on the street. She has the look that signals to Pete that she is in distress. He pulls the truck over, gets out and approaches her. She is new in San Jose. She has no place to stay and is hungry. Pete gets her some food and a motel room for the night. He gives her some phone numbers of local agencies that might be able to help her.

12:30pm  Pete returns home. A woman with two small children knocks before he has put his keys down. She needs a gas card.

12:35  Pete is on his way into the office in the back of our house. There is another knock on the front door. An elderly man needs milk for his granddaughter. Pete gives him the milk that is in our refrigerator.

12:40  There is another knock, it’s a woman and her friend. They had heard they could get help at “Kindness House”.  They go away with gifts cards for gas and food.

12:45  Another knock - Pete opens the door and the woman standing there is hysterical. Pete invites her in to sit down on the couch. She is a person we help on a regular basis. Through her tears, she tells Pete she has just been evicted. Her landlord had asked her to pay the month’s rent in cash - just the day before. She did that, cashing her paycheck and giving the landlord $1400. This morning she got a call from an agency telling her that her apartment building was under new ownership and she had 24 hours to get all her things out of her apartment before there would be a lock put on the door. She came by to cry and just talk to someone. By the time she left she had contacted several friends to help her pack up her belongings and get them to safety. Pete sent her away with a little cash and the phone number for legal aide and other housing opportunities.

It is getting harder and harder for the poor. The Spirit of our God works through each of you, as Truck of Love helps these people in need. We have a vision of a world where each person has food, housing, clothing and medical care. It takes each of us to help the Spirit of God make that vision a reality – to renew the people of God.

God bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

.

Eleven years ago Pete had a series of dreams that directed him to leave our comfortable home and live as a homeless person on the streets of the United States. Each year, as we have talked with groups about the work of Truck of Love and Pete’s homeless adventure they have consistently said this ought to be a book. He kept a diary of his travels and the people he met. He has put these into a book titled “Old Men Dream”. This is a book about following your dreams and saying “yes” to God.

If you would like a copy, please call 408-295-7320 or e-mail peteandsue@netgate.net.

.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 2008

Dear Friends,

Ten years ago, after a series of dreams and an extended period of discernment, Pete left our comfortable home and became homeless for fifty-three days. During that time, he had lots of amazing experiences. But the most long-lasting result of those days on the road was the conviction that we need each other. There is no way he could have survived as a homeless person if he had not met people along the way who helped him when he was in dire need.

These days, that experience of needing each other comes back loudly and clearly.  Our local creeks are swelling with the rain. The homeless people who have chosen to live near the water’s edge are being washed out of their encampments.  A few days ago, Pete visited an area where he knew people would be in trouble. There is a railroad trestle and an overpass on the outside of town where the creek flows. He arrived to find four people crouching on the steep hillside under the trestle where they had tied their sleeping bags to shelter themselves from the rain. They sat on the mud attempting to get a small tarp to cover their huddled bodies. The rain and mud flowed around and under them.  

Fortunately, Truck of Love had just received a donation of tarps, rain ponchos and new blankets still in plastic bags. It became Christmas on the side of the hill that day. He walked along the trestle tossing plastic wrapped blankets to lots of people trying to find protection from the water. That day he was able to help a few more of God’s children.

We need each other. In the Acts of the Apostles we read about being the Body of Christ – how if one part of our Body suffers, we all suffer.  By the same token, we are each given different gifts that are meant to help this Body survive and thrive.

One of the best parts of our work with Truck of Love is being close to so many people  who use their God given gifts to help people in need. We are grateful to each of you for sharing your gifts with us and the people we serve.

Of special note at this writing is the Fundraiser for the TOTOL (Tohono O’Odham Truck of Love) Day Camp that was held at the end of January. The team of Cathy Baker, Meighan Wilson, Theresa Beltramo, Mandy and Scott Bell created an afternoon so filled with their spirit and energy, that we were all overwhelmed with happiness. We are grateful to the Beltramo family who opened their home to host this event. We were graced with the presence of past, current and future camp participants as well as many people new to us who came because of the invitation of a friend. It was a great afternoon and over $7,000.00 was raised to get us closer to our goal of $23,000.00 for this year’s camp expenses.

These days the TOTOL Day Camp reaches over 170 children and adults on the reservation. More than 50 teens and adults from the reservation come for a week of leadership training which not only helps all of us to learn camp activities, but teaches skills useful in all our lives.

When we started the camp 22 summers ago, we reached children from the three southern, most remote districts on the reservation. Today the camp is advertised on the O’Odham radio station and we count participants from each of the 11 districts of the reservation. Much of the growth of the camp can be attributed to the work and leadership of Chrissy Rinki and Cathy Baker, the current co-directors of TOTOL Day Camp. We are thankful for their presence in our lives and the lives of the O’Odham youth.

We need each other. We are thankful to each of you who has donated to the TOTOL Day Camp either through the fundraiser or your general support. You enable the O’Odham old and young alike to experience two weeks each summer when they can learn and play in a safe and healthy environment.

We are thankful for all your support. You warm people with blankets and shield them from the rain with rain ponchos and tarps. You provide groceries, medicine, shelter, and clothing to countless women, children and men.  It is only with your help that we can continue this work.

Your help often comes in the form of prayer. We ask you to continue to pray for the people we serve and for all those who help us. We also ask your prayers for the family of Bobbie Goodwin, a friend and a long time supporter of this work of Truck of Love. Bobbie died on February 13 after a long battle with cancer.

God Bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

.

December 3, 2007

Dear Friends of Truck of Love,

Thank you for your constant prayers and assistance with this work we call Truck of Love. At this time of year, when we look back, it seems as though the stories are always the same – it’s the names and faces that change. There is the single mother of five who can’t get a room in a homeless shelter because she has teen age boys. There is the father of two, whose wife is an addict, who is trying to get his act together so he can have custody of his children. There are the teens who live in abandoned houses in downtown San Jose and who terrorize the older people living on the streets. There are the tiny newborn infants in parent’s arms in the food line at the soup kitchen.

We read in the gospel of Luke: “…she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in the manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

It seems there will always be those among us who suffer deprivation. They lack housing, food, medicine, clothes, and comfort. It is for us to respond to each person we meet with love, kindness, and compassion. We thank you for helping us do that in concrete ways. This Christmas we will give out gift cards for gas, food and Christmas presents. Whatever you can do to help will be appreciated.

As we look back on this year we also remember the people who have gone to their reward with God. Our dear friend Phil McCrillis died in January. He was a person who encouraged us to go into Truck of Love full time. When we had all sorts of excuses about why we couldn’t do what God was calling us to do, he’d say: “Why not? Why wait? Go for it!” When Phil died this year we were reminded how the existence of Truck of Love really goes back to his insistence that we follow our hearts. We are thankful for his presence in our lives. We miss his presence with us here on earth. 

This past year also saw the completion of the 21st year of the camp for the Native American children of the Tohono O’Odham Nation in Arizona . The camp we started because there was nothing for the children to do in the hot summer of the desert has grown into a major happening on the reservation. Next to the annual Saint Francis Feast in Pisinemo, Camp TOTOL (Tohono O’Odham Truck of Love) is the longest continuous running activity on the reservation. Last summer it cost over $21,000 to make camp happen.

It’s been quite the year and we are ready and eager to begin all over again in 2008. We wonder what God has in store for us….

Again we go to the Gospel of Luke and hear Mary’s response to the angel: “I am the Lord’s servant.” We pray we will enter this new year with the resolve to continue to be God’s servants. We pray we will respond to God’s continuing call with a resounding “Yes!”

God bless each of you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

.

PETE & SUE WITH FR. JIM HANLEY, S.J. WILL BE FACILITATING A

MARRIED COUPLES RETREAT

.

JANUARY 25-27

JESUIT RETREAT CENTER OF LOS ALTOS

www.elretiro.org

.

"BECAUSE WE ARE CHOSEN"

.

God invites each of us into our marriage.

When we say yes to God, everything

changes.  Marriage is our road to salvation.

How do we respond to God's call?  Join other

married couples who want to slow down and

take time to be together to pray, laugh, and

rediscover our call to be holy in our

relationship with each other and the families

we create.

                      

.

SUPPORT & CELEBRATE

TOTOL CAMP FUNDRAISER

Music by the Bell Brothers

Silent Auction

.

JANUARY 27

11am-2pm

MENLO PARK

.

TO RECEIVE AN E-VITE WITH DIRECTIONS

TO THE CELEBRATION PLEASE EMAIL

MEIGHAN AT mewilson@sfhs.com

.

This event will buy camp supplies, food and

provide transportation for kids to get to camp.

.

TOP OF PAGE
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

.

August  2007

.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14  

Dear Friends of Truck of Love,

What in the world was Jesus saying when He talked about the kingdom of heaven belonging to the little children? We think Jesus is pleading with us to keep the awe and wonder that we had as children. He is telling us that we must trust and love like a child does. He is advising us that we must remain open and excited about life.

We witnessed lots of “little children” this summer. Some were three or four years old. Some were forty, fifty or eighty years old. Each of them exhibited, for a time, that spirit of fun that we associate with “little children”.

What a summer!  We began in early June by being privileged to assist with the Saint Francis High School Holy Cross Immersion in downtown San Jose .  We escorted 25 teens and six adults from five Holy Cross High Schools to a variety of our favorite places in and around San Jose . We spent time with the disabled people at Agnews Developmental Center , the “houseless” people at the CHAM shelter, the kids at Washington School in the Catholic Charities CHORAL Program, the teens at the Washington United Youth Center , the elderly at John XXIII Multi-Service Center and the Eastside Center , the hungry at Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen.

We watched as our Holy Cross teens interacted with people from all sorts of backgrounds. We saw their compassion and understanding grow during their week of service. We also saw the response from the people they came to serve. Faces brightened into lots of smiles, there was laughter and for a time we were all “little children”.

At the end of June we went to Arizona to spend a couple of days with the TOTOL (Tohono O’Odham Truck Of Love) Camp in Pisinemo. It is so hard to describe how wonderful it was to be at camp this year. This was the 21st year of the camp and it was held in the new Pisinemo Recreation Center . The camp day was the same as it has been for many years – the children and counselors rotate through a variety of activities – including sports & games, arts & crafts, cultural activities, and guest presenters. More than 100 children were at camp – with more than 40 Tohono O’Odham counselors and kitchen helpers. The children came from all over the reservation – some places over an hour’s drive away.

It is apparent to us that camp is having a huge influence on the people of the Tohono O’Odham Nation. We are seeing some of the original campers returning with their children or coming back to help at camp. Many of our original campers are working for the Nation as youth workers in the various programs sponsored by the Nation. Many of the camper’s parents and grandparents return to camp each year to help in a variety of capacities from cooking to presenting cultural activities. They look forward to camp from the time camp ends until the counselors arrive for leadership training the following June. It is their chance to be “little children”.

We are very grateful to Cathy Baker and Chrissy Rinki for taking on the camp leadership for Truck of Love. We are grateful to Mandy & Scott Bell for helping Camp through Truck of Love South. We are grateful to the Saint Francis High School students and graduates who were camp counselors this year. We are grateful to Samuel Fayuant and the staff at the Pisinemo Recreation Center for hosting our group.

We are grateful to you for your continued help to Truck of Love. You provided most of the funding for the TOTOL Camp this summer.

You also help us with our local work.  Just this week we helped a mother and her children get into a motel until they can be accepted into the battered women’s shelter. You helped save this woman and her kids. This week you also provided two mattresses for a father and his kids so they didn’t have to sleep on the floor of the shelter where they stay. It is because of your generosity that we are able to help people with food or clothing, beds, bus passes, quarters for laundry or any of the hundreds of other requests we get in a month. Thank you.

.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 April 6th, 2007

It is Good Friday, the day Christ died. We know Easter Sunday is coming. Christ is risen. Alleluia!

So often we encounter people when they are in the midst of death: a brother whose sister is murdered, a mother whose husband has had an accident, or a child whose father has left the family – never to return. Pete meets them on the streets of San Jose or they come to our front door.  The stories are predictable the same, but the pain is as individual as each person. Because of your generosity, we are able to give them something tangible – money for funeral, gas for the car so they can get to a job, bus tokens so the children can get to school, quarters for laundry and Safeway gift cards for food. Your generosity helps them experience the risen Christ, the Christ of hope.

In early March Sue went to Arizona  for the annual preparation meeting for the TOTOL (Tohono O’Odham Truck of Love) summer camp. This will be the 21st year of summer camp in Pisinemo, a small village two and a half hours southwest of Tucson.  The meeting was attended by some of the O’Odham who have helped at camp in the past few years as well as Charissy Rinki and Cathy Baker, the co-directors of the camp hand the two Franciscan sisters who live in the village – Sister Carla and Sister Ange. There was a time during the meeting when they went around the table talking about why they were there and what camp means to each person. Two comments stood out. One person commented that with the new recreation centers opening in each district on the reservation (Built with money from the casinos.), they are discovering that many of the youth leaders are coming from the TOTOL camp experience. – the camp is training leaders for the children. The youth who have come to camp are returning year after year, their children are coming to camp; their parents are helping at camp. It has become a positive influence on the whole family.

Life is still very hard on the reservation. But to sit at the table and listen to each person talk about the positive effect camp has had on the lives of the participants was truly an experience of the risen Christ – The Christ of hope.

The summer camp will be held at the new recreation center in Pisinemo which is under the direction of Samuel Fayaunt. He has generously invited the out- of – state camp staff into the facility for the two weeks of camp leadership training and camp. The new kitchen will be available for preparing meals for the 180+ daily campers. As you can imagine – there is a lot of excitement about using the new facility. We are grateful to Samuel and his staff for opening their space to the TOTOL camp.

There will be six St Francis High School students joining the camp staff this summer. They will be accompanied by one of their teachers, Meghan Wilson, who is returning to camp after an eight year absence.

Camp expenses are huge. Last year van rental for the two weeks was $8,000.00. The vans are essential so the children who live in the outer villages (some as far as fifty miles away) can get to camp. Food for breakfast and lunch each day for 180+ people is the next major cost. In addition last year there were about 40 people each night for dinner, because many old friends came by to say hi and stay to share the evening meal. We estimate camp will cost about $12,000.00 this year. Whatever you can do to help will be appreciated.

After the forty days of Lent, Christ is risen! There is hope for all of us. We see the progress of death and resurrection play out each day. We are grateful to each of you for being part of the miracle of resurrection for our local brothers and as well as those who live in far away places. Your prayers and good works make a difference in many people’s lives.

.

TOP OF PAGE
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 2006 

Dear Friends of Truck of Love,

This is truly a season of Thanksgiving! We are thankful to you for your continuing generosity to God’s poor through Truck of Love. You are clothing the naked and feeding the hungry.

Daily people come to our door or leave messages on our phone – pleading for help. Men and women just out of prison, families living on the banks of the Guadalupe River in San Jose, people staying in homeless shelters who lack clothing and personal items, little children and mothers wet and cold from the rain are those helped by Truck of Love.

Pete received a call last week from a mother with seven children. Her husband left and she is without his income. Her youngest is one year old. Though Pete had no idea how he could add another family to the growing Christmas list, he just couldn’t turn her down. He visited with her at her house and it was chaos. He told her he would try to find someone to help. It was that same day a class at Saint Francis High School asked Sue about adopting a family. It was a match made in heaven!

This Christmas season many families are asking for gift cards so they can shop for their own families. Many churches and schools have committed to donating some gift cards, but we have a great need for gift cards in any amount for Target, Wal Mart or Safeway. We ask that if you send gift cards to us that you also send the purchase receipt – so we know the amount on the card.  It also helps to have the receipt in case the store tries not to honor the card.

We have more than 150 families that we are committed to serving with Christmas gifts and food.  As always, if you want to adopt a family you can call Pete at (408) 295-7320. Adopting a family means you commit to calling them, asking about their needs and either delivering food and gifts for Christmas or sending gift cards to them. When you adopt a family you are making a firm commitment to help make their holiday a little brighter.

We thank you in advance for your help. God bless you and keep you now and always.

We are grateful to so many individuals and organizations this year who have coordinated donations: Kaye Svedeman’s annual food drive, Greg & Pat Plant’s annual gift of 500 rain ponchos, Saint Christopher’s School in San Jose, Notre Dame de Namur grade school in Burlingame, Holy Spirit Parish in San Jose, Saint William Parish in Los Altos, Los Altos United Methodist Church, Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund. You are the hands of Christ reaching out to the poor.

Thank you to our Board of Directors: Nel Anton, Mary Alice Callahan, Glen Haubl, and Phil McCrillis. Their guidance and encouragement is priceless.

Pete and Sue along with Father Jim Hanley, S.J. will be giving a Married Couples Retreat at the Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos on the weekend of February 2-4, 2007. The theme of the retreat is “Strength for Our Journey.”  These weekends are a great way for married couples to renew friendship with each other and with God in a very safe, fun, relaxing and spiritual atmosphere. You can look on line at www.elretiro.org

 

TOP OF PAGE
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July 2006

Truck of Love

LOVE- “Always watching – Always caring – Reaching out to a hurting world – Seeks Justice and prays for strength “ 

It’s been two days since our return from the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation in Southwest, Arizona. We are exhausted, but very happy. This is the twentieth summer camp and we saw many positive changes.

We have not been physically present at the day camp since the year 2000, although Truck of Love has continued to finance much of the camp expenses. The day to day planning has been carried out largely by Cathy Baker and Chrissy Rinki, with a lot of assistance from many others. Camp TOTOL (Tohono O’Odham Truck of Love)is in very good hands.

This year we had one week of leadership training with the O’Odham who wanted to help at camp. We were deeply moved on the first day the number of O’Odham who were present for leadership- We had 47 O’Odham teens and adults participating! Combined with the 15 people we brought, we had a group equal in number to the whole camp the first year in 1986!

When camp opened this year on June 26 we had 180 children and adults who ate breakfast that first day! We quickly went back to the food planning to revise our quantities – 25 dozen eggs, 60 pounds of ground beef, 20 pounds of pasta, etc…..

Sue worked in the kitchen with 15 O’Odham adults. They had so much fun! Working with one small four burner stove and several outside wood burning grills made of adobe covered with plaster, they turned out two meals a day for campers and counselors.

Pete came in toward the end of the second week of camp and boosted everyone’s tired spirits with his music and presence.

The kids who came to camp were all smiles. There were lots of children of those original campers of 1986.

On Sunday, July 1, we had our 20th Anniversary Celebration. The program included a Tohono O’Odham blessing by Anthony Flores words from the District Chairman, Johnson Jose, songs from the Pisinemo Traditional Singers, dance music from our favorite band:” Desert Spirit”( several former campers play in this group) and a special Buffalo dance by the Hunter family.

We cherish this time we were able to spend with good friends. We see lots of progress since we were on the reservation. The young people are taking an interest in the traditions, culture, ceremonies, and language of their people. The tribe is providing more services to meet the needs of the elderly and the youth. There is diabetes awareness, healthy eating programs (we had training with the O’Odham kitchen helpers about healthier ways to cook traditional foods), programs about culture and language, and more drug counseling available. More of the youth are attending college and graduating!

Youth recreation services are improving in the districts- we had a youth director from the northern part of the reservation. We spent time savoring the sunrises, and sunsets, the monsoon rain, the ragged doge, but most specially the people. Their life is still very hare. Drug addiction is a terrible problem. Unemployment makes everything an effort. Yet they come together.

Camp this year turned out to be more costly than we had anticipated. We received an anonymous of $10.000.00 designated for the camp that kept us afloat. But we had to rent four vans to get the kids to camp each day – rental alone was $8,000.00! Each day , cost of materials plus incidental expenses….

We thank you for your continued support and prayers. You have made hundreds of people happy this summer.

We’re back to our local work which never stops. Each time we help someone with food, lodging or bus passes we tell them it is you who are the ones who are helping them – we are just the conduit between you and them. Thank you!

God bless each and every one of you.

Pete and Sue Fullerton

P.S. If you know anyone who has an industrial stove (six burners, griddle, two large ovens – with racks!) who could get it delivered to Pisinemo – it would sure make cooking for 180 people way easier! Please ask anyone and everyone you know to see if that can become a reality.

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 31, 2006

Dear Friends,

Where does the time go? It was just yesterday when we were pleading for help for Christmas. Thank you for enabling so many families to experience a little extra joy for the holidays. Every family likes to celebrate and your generosity enabled many people to have that special holiday feeling.

Now it is spring and we are soaked with the rain. Water logged people arrive at our door each day. The emergency shelters have announced their seasonal closing. More people are back on the streets. Your help is always needed.

We also look forward to this coming summer. In June Sue will accompany five Saint Francis High School students to Arizona for the 20th year of the camp on the Tohono O’odham Nation. By our estimates this is the longest continuing summer activity for the Tohono O’odham children on the reservation.

After twenty years of camp we now have the sons and daughters of our original campers in attendance. The camp staff has gone from mostly outsiders we bring in; to a mostly O’odham leadership, with some outside help from Truck of Love. Several years ago the O’odham chose to change the name of the camp to TOTOL (Tohono O’odham Truck of Love) Camp. Our partnership has been enriching for all of us.

On Saturday, July 1 in Pisinemo, Arizona , the site of the camp, we will have a 20th Anniversary celebration. Pete is coming in for the weekend. Everyone is welcome- we are hoping some of you who were at the camp in the early years might want to return for a couple of days! Of course it will be in the middle of summer, temps are in the 100+ range and lodging is at least an hour away in a small town called Ajo , Arizona . But if that doesn’t scare you, please feel free to join us. Our celebration will include music, food and fun! We will schedule it for midday.

If you decide to come, please let us know – we will need to alert the reservation police that there will be out of state cars driving in. call Pete with questions at 408 295-7320.

When we started the camp with Sister Patrice and Sister Anne, we never imagined we would still be there twenty years later. Although we, Pete and Sue, have not been present at the camp for the last five years, there is a loyal group of people who have carried on each summer. They have been dedicated to a vision of an environment where the children are nurtured in a safe and welcoming community. We are delighted to return this summer to be with them.

With our local people in need as well as the summer activities, our budget is preparing to stretch even more. Although we have not been physically present at camp, Truck of Love had funded it each year. Camp costs about $10,000 – this covers food for two meals each camp day for about 140 people, transportation to bring the children from villages as far away as fifty miles, camp supplies and any variety of incidental expenses.  Camp costs are on top of the approximately $8000 we spend each month to serve the people of this local area with food, clothing, transportation, lodging and emergency medical help. We thank you in advance for your support of all the Truck of Love endeavors. You are truly the hands of Christ reaching out to people in need.

God Bless You!

 

Recently we have been blessed to speak with several Just Faith groups in the San Jose Diocese. Pete has spoken at St. Williams and St. Thomas Aquinas as well as in Social Justice classes at Saint Francis High School. It is always a gift for us to meet people who want to know about the work of Truck of Love. God calls each of us to some special work – God has given each of us talents to be used in the service of others.   

“What good is it, if a person claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him? Suppose a person is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go, I wish you well, keep warm and well fed”, but does nothing about the person’s physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 1:14-17

It would give me great joy if you could meet Lynne. She is a middle-aged woman, really quite simple, who we have known for about 15 years. Our daughter will never forget one Sunday when Lynne came to our house and wanted to clean up her car so she could live in it more comfortably. At that time, Julie was a teenager and she innocently volunteered to help Lynne. About 15 minutes into this project Julie called me outside to see what she had uncovered – maggots in the upholstery. All we could do was scrub and vacuum and hope we had cleansed the car of the pests. Lynne was getting ready to have her children for a visit in her home – her car.

A few years later, Lynne was on our doorstep again, This time it was Christmas and she wanted some help with gifts for her son and daughter. They would be spending Christmas day in her car with her. She had a puzzle of a Christmas tree and really wanted a flat board so they could work on this puzzle together in the car.

Today, Lynne’s children are older and have been living for some time with their grandmother and aunt. But recently these two women were in an auto accident and can no longer care for the boy and girl. They now live with Lynne in her car.

Each day your donations enable Truck of Love to help people like Lynne. These are the people who fall through the cracks of our society. Some people have homes, some have cars and some need bus passes or food. All of them need a loving person to listen to them – to help counter their fearful existence.

Thank you for your helpful embrace.

Pete

 

We are entering the “holiday” season. As I sit here at the computer, it is early October. Already in the first 6 days of October, Pete has sixty-five families who have asked for help at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. He is receiving more than 30 phone calls each day from people in need of some kind of help.

We must match each of these requests for help with one of you who wants to help!

 

 

THANKSGIVING ADOPT-A-FAMILY

Last year we helped 130 families with food for Thanksgiving. Of these families only 80 were adopted by you – the other 50 families received Scrip from Truck of Love to take to the grocery store.  Our goal this year is to have each of these families adopted by you. We need your help!

·        Call Pete at (408)295-7320  or e-mail him at peteandsue@netgate.net

·        PLEASE Adopt-a-family for Thanksgiving

·        Buy food and deliver it to a family (you can choose the size of the family)

·        Donate food and/or money to buy food and we will deliver it

·        Help on Saturday, November 18, to sort and deliver food to families in need (we will meet at St. Nicholas School in Los Altos beginning at 10am – call Pete for details)

                                                                            CHRISTMAS ADOPT-A-FAMILY

Last year we helped 198 families at Christmas. Of  these there were 50 non-adopted families that received scrip for gifts and food from Truck of Love. We desperately need your help by adopting a family! Here’s what you can do:

·        Call Pete at (408)295-7320 or e-mail him at peteandsue@netgate.net

·        PLEASE adopt-a-family for Christmas

·        Buy food and gifts and deliver them to the family

·        You can choose the size of the family

·        We recommend no more than $10/person for food

·        We recommend no more than $25/person for gifts

·        Donate food or gifts or money and we will deliver to the family

·         Help on Saturday, December 23 to sort and deliver food and gifts to families (we will meet at St. Nicholas School in Los Altos starting at 10am– call Pete for details)


 

 

UPDATE ON ROBERTO 

 Many of you have read about Roberto on our web site www.truckoflove.org. Please check out the web site for all the information. Roberto has finished his treatment in the United States. He has returned home with some new equipment and new medicines. Kate and Greg Kremer continue to be in touch with the family and, as needed, are sending medicines to them. We are about to pay the last of the bills – your donations covered weeks of care in some very specialized physical therapy programs. Roberto and his family are deeply grateful to each of you who cared so much to sacrifice your hard-earned dollars to help them. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. This is a lifelong journey for this family.

 

                                  TIDBITS FROM TRUCK OF LOVE SOUTH

Scott, Mandy and Zoe Bell have sent us their newsletter about last June’s summer camp on the Tohono O’Odham Indian  Reservation. Thanks to your continuing donations, we were able to help fund the summer camp (even though this was the first year Pete and I were not present). Thanks to your generosity Scott and Mandy and their able staff had an incredible three weeks with the O’Odham leaders and children. The camp tradition has become a reality. This is an annual event that children and adults of the tribe anticipate with great excitement.

I just had an e-mail from one of our original campers from 1985. She is now mother of two children and lives in Tucson where she has a job. She wanted me to know that her children go to visit their grandmother in Pisinemo each summer just so they can attend the camp. They look forward to it all year. Thank you to each of you who helps make this possible.

 

THANK YOU Shoreline Printing in Mountain View  -  Kathie Behnke for our labels and mailing list - Scott at Sherman’s Auto in Mountain View for keeping our vehicles in good running order - Tom Smith for keeping our computers up and running - Rob Perrier our webmaster (Please e-mail him and let him know what you think about our web site.) – Mark Smith for web site help – Scott and Mandy Bell –Nancy Novak and John Akers for long service on our board of Directors (they have moved out of the area) – Nel Anton, Mary Alice Callahan, Glen Haubl and Phil McCrillis, our remaining Board members - Fr. Elias Galvez,OFM and  the Poor Clares and all of you for your prayers for  the work of Truck of Love – we are well aware this work does not happen without  your continued prayers.

PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS

Larry Bell who died just as our last newsletter went to press. Larry was a long-time supporter of our work and was the father of Scott Bell who has now formed Truck of Love South. Cind Tresser, who died very suddenly last month.  Cind was a participant on two Truck of Love trips – one to Tijuana and one to the camp in Arizona .  We are grateful to each of their families for designating Truck of Love for donations in memory of Larry and Cind. We will continue to remember Larry and Cind and their families in our prayers and ask you to also remember them in prayer.

 

 

TOP OF PAGE
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 2005

LOVE- “Always watching – Always caring – Reaching out to a hurting world – Seeks Justice and prays for strength “ 

Dear Friends of Truck of Love,

Since our last newsletter we have received so many wonderful notes from so many of you. We give thanks to our God for your prayers and support!

Every year on Christmas there is a reading from Isaiah that fills me with hope and joy for the coming year. In part it says:” The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light….For a child is born to us….His dominion is vast and forever peaceful….”

During this year we have seen many kinds of darkness: the darkness of family abuse, drug dependency, physical hunger and sickness, the darkness of despair and death. We have listened to stories that can’t be possible, but are real.

Recently I met Sheryl. She is a mother of three teenaged girls, and one eleven year-old boy. Currently they are living on the second floor of a low rent apartment complex. Tow years ago the family had a father and lived in a house in a neighborhood much like yours or mine. Late one night in January of 2004 the Dad was returning home from work. He was struck and killed by a drunk driver. The father was insured for just enough to pay for the funeral and a few months of rent on the house.

When money ran out for the rented house, Sheryl and her children had to move in with her late husband’s parents. In July of 2004 the in-law’s home burned to the ground and the children’s grandparents were killed.

Friends of Truck of Love have adopted Sheryl’s family for Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

Once again, that light of the Christ child is beginning to shine in Sheryl’s life.

You continually bring that light of Christ to us and to those we serve. Your prayers and your support are witness to the vastness of Christ’s light and peace.

 

Merry Christmas!

Pete and Sue Fullerton

Thank you to the clients of the Laurel Street Center in Santa Cruz for stamping and stapling our newsletter.

 

TOP OF PAGE
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 18th, 2005

 

LOVE- “Always watching – Always caring – Reaching out to a hurting world – Seeks Justice and prays for strength “ 

Dear Friends of Truck of Love,

It has been a busy time around the house lately. I came home one afternoon to be greeted by a woman who was in the process of writing a note to me. She was carrying one small child in her arms and had another holding onto her belt.

“Hello,” she said. “I was going to leave this note with my phone number so you could call me. I’m glad you came home while I was here.”

I greeted her with” How can I help?”

“A friend told me to come here. She said there is a kindness house on Margaret Street. They will never turn you away.”

I gave her my last Albertson’s gift card. She gave me the note with her phone number. She had written” To whom it concerns: I heard about your generosity to the less fortunate and here I am with hopes you can help me and my 2 children out in anyway possible.”

She was one of eight families I saw at our door that afternoon.

The next day I had fifteen boxes of food and fifteen hams from St. Isadora’s Parish in the East Bay. I had told people to come by the house between 2-4:30pm. The food was gone in the first hour.

Times are tough for the poor. According to Sandy Perry of the Community Homeless Alliance Ministry in downtown San Jose, there were released in February by the Interagency Council on Homelessness that showed the Silicone Valley, the richest area in the nation, has now become the homeless capital of Northern California. We live in downtown San Jose - we know it’s bad.

Your donations help Truck of Love to continue to serve the poor. Work here in Silicon Valley as well as continue to help communities in Mexico and Arizona.

This year the camp for the Tohono O’Odham children will celebrate its 19th summer. Though Sue and I no longer go to Arizona for the camp, there is a wonderful staff of people who conduct camp for the children of the desert. Your donations continue to fund the camp – this year Truck of Love will give the camp $8,000.00 to help provide summertime fun for the more than 150 children who come. Check out the camp website at www.orgsites.com/ca/totol/

Thank you for your continued generosity to God’s poor. You helped several hundred families during Thanksgiving and Christmas with both food and gifts. Thank you to Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund and the many donors who contributed to the generous check we recently received.

We are so blessed to live in a house that the people on the streets have dubbed the” kindness house”. It is your generosity that helps continue to serve the people who come to our door in San Jose. Your donations are spread in a wide arch each month from Mexico to the Tohono O’Odham Reservation in Arizona to the wider San Francisco Bay Area. Thank you from hungry children and desperate mothers and fathers.

During this Easter season we are reminded so clearly of the hope we have each day as we begin again after suffering through many little deaths in our lives- losing loved ones, losing a job, changing patterns in our lives. It is the message of Christ coming through loud and clear that after all death there is resurrection! We are people of hop. Thank you for sharing that hope with the poor.

God Bless you all,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

 

Note…

 

Mark your calendars.

If you are a married couple and want to spend some reflective time with each other  next year, Sue and I are helping facilitate a Married Couples Retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos February 17-19, 2006 . See the Jesuit Retreat House website for details www.elretiro.org/

 

 

TOP OF PAGE
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 1st, 2004

Dear Friends,

Last week we received an envelope in the mail. When we opened it we found three scraps of paper. On the torn and ragged pieces were photographs. One picture shows an incredible bunch of purple grapes with red and green and gold grape leaves – really stunningly beautiful. The other shows several horses in a pasture yellow with mustard blossoms. The third is of a two story white house and a white Adirondack chair sitting in the front yard covered with leaves from the maple tree above it.

In the margins of these pictures there is writing: “Happy Thanksgiving! & Merry Christmas next month! Here’s a Thanksgiving picture of fall leaves…. We lost all our Christmas stuff (our little tiny imitation tree w/our little decorations…) are all gone!!!   We lost our car in that fire. It’s hard living in cars, trailers or garages with no way to cook for the holidays or wash up or use a phone. I sure wish my family could be in a house. I hope there will be a few funds for some store cards – we only replaced a few clothes… I’ve been praying and doing the best that I can for my family. I don’t have a phone so I gave you my address… Thanks, L”

The note comes from a woman who has lived in her car for many years. She is very simple and wants little from live, but she doesn’t have the necessities. She has tried to work, but she is so simple she has a hard time holding a job. She has two children who cannot live with her. She has a mother she tries to care for.

Many people served by Truck of Love are just like “L”.These are people who fall through the cracks of our social service structure. During this time of the year we help people with blankets and sleeping bags, tents and cook stoves, food and clothing, bus passes and medical care.

This year several church groups are collecting gifts, which will be distributed to our regular clients. The Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund will help us tremendously

We thank you for your continued prayers and support. We cannot do this work without you. Please know that the people served by Truck of Love feel blessed in this season of hope to be the recipients of your generosity.

 

God Bless you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

 

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November 2003

LOVE- “Always Watching – Always caring – Reaching out to a hurting world – Seeks Justice and prays for strength “ 

 

Dear friends,

Thank you for your continuing generosity. You are feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and caring for the sick.

Truck of Love is serving more and more people who “fall through the cracks”. These are the poorest of the poor in this valley: the people who live under the freeways, along side the creeks, in the underbrush. There are whole communities that move from place to place. They take care of each other and usually don’t let outsiders see where or how they live. Some people have a little income that buys some food. But emergencies happen. People get sick and need medical attention. They need new clothes to replace the ones that they have no way to clean. One older woman who cares for a group of people said: “I sure would like some ice cream.” Thanks to you, Truck of Love can give some measure of comfort to these children of God.

Truck of Love helps lots of people who are also clients of other agencies. There is a huge collaborative effort going on among agencies that serve the poor. We frequently get calls when an agency cannot provide everything an individual of family night need. Sometimes it is a bus ticket home, or help with part of the rent, or a ride to the doctor, or cleaning an apartment to prevent an eviction notice.

Truck of Love also helps community of Laotian refugees in Santa Clara valley, several communities in Tijuana and one in Guaymas, Mexico. Our work on the Tohono O’Odham Indian reservation in Arizona is continuing with the summer camp for the Tohono O’Odham children.

This holiday season we will continue to meet the daily needs of the ever growing population of poor in and around San Jose. We do not have the time this year to organize the Adopt- a- family program as we have done in the past. The daily routine requests for help are more pressing this year. If you have a desire to work directly with a family, Pete can give you the name of a family for you to contact and help. The gifts that organizations are giving to Truck of Love will be given out to our regular clients.

The phone calls keep coming. The need keeps growing. The bank account is going down. We are saying “no” to an increasing number of people. We need your help now more than ever. At the rate we are spending your money we will be broke before December. Pete, our one employee, has not gotten his regular check for several months.

Our budget is small – we took in $150,000.00 last year and we currently spend about $12,000.00 each month.

Please consider supporting Truck of Love with your donations. The people we serve are deeply grateful to you.(We keep telling them we are not rich, they have many people who care about their welfare.)

Blessings, Pete, and Sue Fullerton

Note:

Thanks for all of you who have sent donations for Pete’s CD. We have your address, and we will get a copy to you as soon as we can. Included on the CD are Truck of Love favorites like “Let’s Get Together, “If You Want To Live Life Free”. Day By Day” and many more. These make great Christmas presents!

Check out our new updated website. Thank you to Mike Nevarez our new webmaster. Thank you to Rob Perrier for many faithful years of web mastering service. And thanks to the whole Smith family for computer and CD help. www.truckoflove.org

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

September 1st, 2003

Dear Friends,

Thank you for helping Truck of Love, help God’s poor. One of those poor went home to God this summer.

Art died July 2nd,2003 at the age of 83 – a good , long life by most standards.

We had known Art since 1984 when Pete met him at a soup kitchen in Mountain View . He was living on the street, sleeping in a dumpster next to a liquor store located on Middlefield Road . He became our friend.

During that first of our acquaintance Art began to sleep on our couch in the living room. He spent a Christmas morning with our family and was deeply touched when our children gave him a present.

The next year around the same time of St. Patrick’s Day, Art showed up with a green beard. He was Irish at heart (at least in March).

We attempted to help Art in any way we could. He moved from our couch to a semi-permanent bed in our van. We would listen to his stories of his family (a wife and two children), his war years, his teaching experiences (he said he had a masters degree) and his political views (he had a lot of opinions about the homeless situation and the current political candidates). He rode his bike everywhere.

As the years went by Art began to call us from the Veteran’s hospital. The hospital staff would dismiss him after hospital admission due to accidents on his bike or other medical conditions and he’d need a ride “somewhere”. Eventually he had a pacemaker installed, had cataract surgery, and seemed to have a new life.

One day when I was visiting a San Jose shelter, I spied him pushing a wheel chair down the sidewalk to the entrance (I had thought he was in the hospital).He refused to stay anywhere against his will and the street was where he felt free.

When Art had his final visit to the hospital he called Pete to come visit. He tried to convince Pete to sign him out, but his health was too frail to be back on the bike touring the peninsula. He died in the early evening about the time we were praying at the dinner table – a place he had sat many times. The phone call came from the nurse on duty who said Art had wanted her to call Pete. Pete asked if they had called his daughter. They didn’t even know he had two grown children. When Pete called Art’s daughter late that July night , she seemed more upset about the time of the call than she was about the death of her father.

Art was unique. Each of God’s poor that Pete meets on the street have their own unique journey. Because of your generous donations, Pete is able to spend time with people who have no one in their lives who care about them. Because of you, Pete can sit with a mother who is grieving that her daughter is in jail for the third strike. He can spend the afternoon with a person who needs to go the hospital. He can provide bus passes and quarters for laundry so kids can go to school in clean clothes. He can help people who have shelter, but have need of other essentials: food, clothing, medicine and comfort. Thank you for helping Truck of Love to help the people who are unable to fit into society, who are not wanted nor missed by anyone, who are God’s poor.

God reward you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

Christmas is coming – be sure to call Pete (408-295-7320), if you want to help with a family. Our donations are increasing thanks to you, but the need is growing. More and more people need some help making ends meet each month.

Pete has recorded a CD! He went into a local recording studio and sang and played. He has included some Truck of Love favorite: “If You Want To Live Life Free”, and “Lady Poverty” (to name only a few). You can receive your copy of this CD for a donation of $15.00 to truck of Love (this includes postage). Send us your mailing address and we’ll get you a copy ASAP.

Our children said:” It’s like listening to Dad playing in the living room.”

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

March 23rd, 2003

LOVE- “Always watching – Always caring – Reaching out to a hurting world – Seeks Justice and prays for strength “ 

Dear Friends of Truck of Love,

We went to a wedding yesterday. Two of our young friends got married at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Alviso. It was a joyous occasion. Family and friends were gathered as the pastor presided. The bride was beautiful in her long white dress and the groom was so handsome in his dark suit. It was a great day!

It was a celebration of life. It was a celebration of faith, hope and love. It was a celebration that happened because of the grace of God.

We met the groom in Tijuana , Mexico when he was about three years old. He was the child of two hardworking parents who lived in Colonia Tenochtitlan. At the time, he was one of seven children. His mother used to make tamales for our Truck of Love groups.

The older children in the family came and spent time with the participants of our summer and Christmas trips. His dad made ceramic objects and sold them at the border.

Our young friend had an opportunity to move to Alviso when he was about 11 years old. At that time he met a very sweet young girl. They were friends for a long time and then during their high school years they became boyfriend and girlfriend. He dropped out of school for a while and she went on to receive a scholarship to a local Catholic University . He went back to school and now works and goes to school at Mission College .

They got married yesterday and all who were present felt the faith, hope and love that come only from our God.

This past Christmas you were instruments of God’s love to serve several hundred people who were adopted for the Holidays. You answered the call and adopted families, bought presents. Wrapped and sorted gifts and delivered lots of Holiday cheer. we are grateful to you and so are the people you served. We had many cards and phone calls from people who were very thankful for your generosity.

This year is already a very difficult time for the poor. With the economy failing, budget cuts and a country at war; the poor are feeling the crunch. We are still serving several communities in Tijuana , financing camp on the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation in Arizona and helping hundreds of people locally.

Here in the Bay Area the calls are increasingly frantic. People are in need of medical help (many prescriptions are not paid for by the state), food (food stamps don’t make it through the month), clothing ( it is hard to get used underwear of larger sizes in used clothing stores), transportation ( there are not many agencies that have a budget for bus passes) and the personal touch (Pete goes to each family and interviews them in their home to see what their living conditions are and how Truck of Love can be of the most help). Our phone rings from 5:30am to midnight including weekends. Pete is out almost every evening and part of each weekend day meeting with people trying to give them some small measure of help or assurance.

Truck of Love continues to need your help. Right now there is money in the bank, but if our requests for help continue at the rate they are going we will be out of money in about three months.

Please help Truck of Love to continue being an instrument of God’s faith, hope and love in this difficult time.

Please feel free to call me with any questions. I’m usually out working with our brothers and sisters in need… Please leave a message at: 408-295-7320

Peace be with you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

 

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

August, 2002

 

LOVE- “Always watching – Always caring – Reaching out to a hurting world – Seeks Justice and prays for strength.”

 

Dear Friends,

The image of the Holy Family , Jesus, Mary and Joseph is uppermost in our minds this day. What a wonderful model for our lives. To us they represent love and care for each other and the world around them. They were uncomplicated people who did what God asked – so simple and yet so difficult. Their example gives us the strength to embrace each day and to ask God,” What is it you want of me, this day?”

What does God want of you, this day?

This day we thank God for you and your prayers and your generous donations. It has been a full summer. We were able to be in Arizona for the dedication of the shrine in Eric Wilson’s yard – our young Tohono O’Odham friend who died last spring. This summer camp was once again very successful. Each year more O’Odham become part of the leadership and this year they outnumbered the other counselors! We are grateful to you for your $10,000.00 in donations that kept this camp going one more year. We are thankful to Truck of Love south, Scott and Mandy Bell, who now take on this responsibility.

We thought that when we gave up the group trips to Mexico and to Arizona that we might have more summer time. This is not to be. In June we again collaborated with St. Francis High School to assist Campus Ministry with a one week immersion in downtown San Jose . This was the fourth year we have done this and it was wonderful! Thirteen St. Francis students spent their days working with the people at Loaves and Fishes soup Kitchen, the First Methodist Church , the First Christian Church, Catholic Charities John the XXIII Center for elderly, Agnews Developmental center and poor, disabled or elderly. Even more extraordinary than the agencies, were our students. They went from fear of people who live in very different circumstances to an openness, awareness and acceptance of the people they encountered. It was a great week.

The summer was a very difficult one for the poor in the bay Area. We received more calls for help; more requests for lodging, food, medical expenses, clothing transportation and furniture As people begin to be taken off the welfare rolls, they are panicking. As people loose their jobs, they don’t know where to turn. Now with the beginning of the school year, families need school supplies that cannot afford.

Our donations are stretched thin – what comes in is going out – and this week we are having to tell our clients that we cannot help them with food cards or motel nights or anything else that demands cash money. We know that will change, but our clients don’t understand since Truck of Love always helps when other agencies cannot.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming and families will begin to call soon to ask for holiday help. Last year our Holiday Adopt-a-Family Program cost Truck of Love $11,000.00 beyond the money so many of you spent when you adopted families and provided their Holiday cheer. Currently we are looking at how we can alter our program so we can continue to help the families who would otherwise have no extras at holiday time.

Our prayers are with all of you as we near the anniversary of September 11th 2001 (911)

Much has changed for all of us in this past year. The poor people of our country are still in great need. We know many of you are between jobs. We also know that when we help each other, we are enriched and strengthened. This is certainly the example we have in Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Blessings on each and every one of you,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

 

Since our last news letter we lost tow close friends: Carol Mori and Suzanne Enfield. Both were women who exemplified great love of family and are missed.

 

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

June 11th, 2002 

LOVE- “Always watching – Always caring – Reaching out to a hurting world – Seeks Justice and prays for strength"

Dear Friends,

People often ask:” How do you do so much?” My reply is, “Moment by moment.” If I look at the whole picture of life, it is overwhelming. I can accomplish a lot if I listen to the person who is with me, if I smile at the child playing in the park , if I give a bottle of water to a man on the street corner.

I run in circles if I worry about how I am going to get through the day with all the demands I have on my time. I attempt to encounter each person in my day as if they were the only person I want to be with. I attempt to address each request as it comes my way. My motto is:” Worry doesn’t accomplish anything.” Jesus said:” Fear not.” And I believe Him!

The sad part of life is that there are lots of people who do worry. They worry about where their next meal will come from. They worry how they will pay the rent now that they are out of work. They worry about their children who are sick and have no medical insurance. They worry about how to provide their children with clothes, shoes and essentials to live in this valley.

That’s where Truck of Love is able to ease some of the burden. Because of your generosity today I was able to take a mother shopping so her children would have shoes and underwear. You have helped several older women have the medicine that is not covered by their Medi Cal insurance. You have bought food for families that are at the end of the month with their meager budgets.

You also help to fund the TOTOL Camp ( Tohono O’Odham Truck of Love Camp), on the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation in Southern Arizona . This is the 17th year of the camp that serves about 160 children on the southern most part of the reservation – the poorest and most remote part of the land. Camp will begin July 1st, 2002 with leadership training the week before. Each year more and more of the Tohono O’Odham work the camp and take leadership roles.

This year the camp will be even more important because March 1st, 2002 one of our long timed O’Odham friends, Eric Wilson, died. Erick was only 3 years old. He had been a part of camp since the beginning – first as a camper, then as a valuable leader. The children loved Eric- he was a role model for many of them.

Your donations have helped to fund camp for this year –so far it has cost about $10,000.00. There are vans to e rented, buses to be driven to pick up the children and bring them to camp, food to be purchased and cooked, leadership training for the staff, t-shirts for the camp and all the other things that go into making camp happen in such a remote location.

All year the children ask when camp is going to start. There are some children who come back to the reservation just for camp because their parents were once campers. It is a wonderful tradition for love and caring that helps these children forget for a couple of weeks all the problems and worries that make them old before their time.

We thank you in advance for being Christ to the people helped by Truck of Love – Jesus who said:” Fear Not.”

May God reward your generosity,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

June 11, 2002

Dear Friends,

People often ask: "How do you do so much?" My reply is, "Moment by moment." If I look at the whole picture of life, it is overwhelming. I can accomplish a lot if I listen to the person who is with me, if I smile at the child playing in the park, if I give a bottle of water to a man on the street corner.

I run in circles if I worry about how I am going to get through the day with all the demands I have on my time. I attempt to encounter each person in my day as if they were the only person I want to be with. I attempt to address each request as it comes my way. My motto is: "Worry doesn't accomplishanything." Jesus said: "Fear not." And I believe Him!

The sad part of life is that there are lots of people who do worry. They worry about where their next meal will come from. They worry about how they will pay the rent now that they are out of work. They worry about their children who are sick and have no medical insurance. They worry about how to provide their children with the clothes, shoes and essentials to live in this valley.

That's where Truck of Love is able to ease some of the burden. Because of your generosity today Pete was able to take a mother shopping so her children could have shoes and underwear. You have helped several older women have the medicine that is not covered by their Medi Cal insurance. You have bought food for families that are at the end of the month with their meager budgets.

You also help to fund the TOTOL Camp (Tohono O‚Odham Truck of Love Camp) on the Tohono O'Odham Indian Reservation in Southern Arizona. This is the 17th year of the camp that serves about 160 children on the southern most part of the reservation ˆ the poorest and most remote part of the land. Camp will begin July 1 with leadership training the week before. Each year more and more of the Tohono O'Odham work the camp and take leadership roles.

This year the camp will be even more important because March 1, 2002 one of our long time O‚Odham friends, Eric Wilson, died. Eric was only 23 years old. He had been a part of camp since the beginning first as a camper, then as a valuable leader. The children loved Eric he was a role model for many of them.

Your donations have helped to fund camp for this year so far it has cost about $10,000. There are vans to be rented, buses to be driven to pick up children and bring them to camp, food to be purchased and cooked, leadership training for the staff, t-shirts for the camp, and all the other things that go into making camp happen in such a remote location.

All year the children ask when camp is going to start. There are some children who come back to the reservation just for camp because their parents were once campers. It is a wonderful tradition of love and caring that helps these children forget for a couple of weeks all the problems and worries that make them old before their time.

We thank you in advance for being Christ to the people helped by Truck of Love. It was Jesus who said: "Fear not!"

God Bless You,

We are grateful for your prayers, checks and support that you show in so many ways. Feel free to call Pete at (408) 295-7320 if you want to know where to take your donations of clothing and furniture.

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

January 2002              

 

LOVE- “Always watching – Always caring – Reaching out to a hurting world – Seeks Justice and prays for strength “  

 

Dear Friends,

Your generosity with time, prayers, money, food and gifts helped Truck of Love to serve 121 families at Thanksgiving and 254 families at Christmas On November 17th we had 20 volunteers who sorted food and delivered to 35 families. In December we had about 65 volunteers who helped wrap gifts, sort food and deliver to almost 120 families. Many of you called and adopted families who you contacted and met and delivered personally your gifts of love. Thank You!

This newsletter must be a huge thank you to everyone who was involved this past holiday season. It was just a few short years ago that we started by helping one family. As you read the following list look at the breadth and scope of people involved in this endeavor. It is YOU who keep saying yes to God and His poor. We feel the need to list as many of the groups that helped as we can. If we miss some, we are very sorry – please know we are so very grateful for all the help. (If you want to call us and gently remind us that we left you out, we will be very happy to list you in the next newsletter.)

Thank you ( in completely random order.): St. Victors Church newcomers in San Jose; St. Lawrence Academy and Mary Carroll; California Avenue Community and Denise; Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Alviso and Isaac; Adella for making so many phone calls and maps; St. Francis High School, the Service Club, Mrs. Carroll’s classes, Mr. Pilawski’s class and Mr. Bigg’s classes; Momma Branch and Nate in east Palo Alto;

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Los Gatos; Hispanic Social Services and Marie; Housing Consortium and Charlie; local Head Start coordinators who recommended families in need; 3 Com and Patrick; Canyon Heights Academy and Rose; Faye Svedman and her annual Christmas gift party; Caldwell Banker and Judy; Albertson’s for food discounts; Paul Nyberg and the Town Crier Holiday Fund; St. Christopher’s students and Nancy for the food drive; St. William Church for their annual Angel Tree drive and Cathy and Olivia; St. Lucy’s Parish Angel Tree; St. Leo’s Parish  Christmas tree program and Lisa; Los Altos United Methodist Church and their annual Angel Tree; Holy Spirit Parish and Cassy for the parish Angel Tree program; St. Nicholas Parish and Fr. Gary for the use of the school facilities on our sorting and delivery day; St. Katherine’s in Gilroy and La Lo; Castro School in Mountain View and Adella; Adventures in Learning Academy and Mrs. Albacht; and Patricia and Faline for the prayer hot line; Bounsey and La Viresak and the Laotian families; Kathie for our mailing list and Shoreline Printing and Mike and Victoria.

In listing all these groups and individuals I am overwhelmed by the amazing volume of people who have been touched this Holiday Season. We have not listed the over 150 individuals who actually adopted and took care of one or more families.

This is what the Holidays are about. This is what the Holiday Season has to teach us about life. We are created by our God in His likeness to love. Each of us has a path in life that affects others. Some of us are blessed with extra material recourses that are meant to be shared.

Pete and I are fortunate to have been called to this work with the poor. We meet so many generous loving people who really understand that we are the Body of Christ. If one of us hurts, we all are affected. When one of us helps another, we affect more than that person, we help to make the world a much better place to live. We tank you for sharing your material recourses and your time and being the hands of Christ.

Please don’t forget that the people we serve during the Holidays are with all year round. Times are very hard right now and the poor are always the people who suffer the most. Your donations of money help us top help so many others. If you have other items to donate, call Pete and he can give you suggestions of places that will take your clothing and furniture.

One of our faithful donors reminded us that some of you might like to gift Truck Of Love with stocks- it is very easy to do so- we have a Charles Schwab account to accept your gifts quite easily. Just give Pete a call at 408-295-7320 and help is on the way.

God bless and keep you in this New Year,

Pete and Sue Fullerton

 

Some of the people served by Truck of Love this Christmas expressed their thanks – we want to pass on a few of these calls and letters.

Phone Call:” Hello Pete- I just wanted to thank you for all you have done for me and my  family  .I was really so down and out and appreciate it.” KD

Letters:” I just wanted to say thank you for all the involved for everything that was done. Thank you so much.” Mrs. A

Thank you Mr. Pete for helping to make our Xmas a nice one  and , to , the family that helped us.” MP

Thanks again for the gift cards. There wouldn’t have been a Christmas without them./ I used the gift checks for a Xmas tree. My grandson is 3 years old. You should have seen his eyes. It was precious.” CB

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November, 2001

Dear Friends,

Thank you. In our last newsletter we told you our bank account balance was decreasing too rapidly and you have responded with overwhelming generosity. We are able to write checks, buy food and continue to help some of the very needy people of our society. Thank you.

We often read the passage from the gospel of Luke that tells the story of Jesus feeding five thousand hungry people who were following Him. This is referred to as the "miracle of the loaves and the fishes". As we reflect on this story, it strikes us that there were two miracles. One was in Jesus' act of multiplying the food to feed the people. The other miracle was the willingness of one hungry person to give away what little food they had so that others could eat.

When we admit to being Christians, followers of Jesus, we are not asked to do extraordinary deeds. We are asked to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick or the imprisoned.

We are again asking you to follow Christ's example. This year we have 160 families who have asked for help at Thanksgiving and more for Christmas.

There is a family of ten who live in a local community: Grandmother and grandfather (disabled), mother and father (fieldworker) and 6 children. They live in the back yard of a home in a shed that has no running water and no bathroom. They use a bucket for water and have an outhouse in the yard. They have electricity so they do have a hot plate for cooking. They have asked for food and clothing - no toys - they just need the necessities for the children.

There is a family of 14 made up of a mother (disabled) with four children. Two of the daughters are each single parent to four children. The other son and daughter are seniors in high school. These two have jobs. They bring much needed income to the family. They live in a three- bedroom apartment where they have subsidized rental assistance.

There is a family of three. This is a mother with two children ages 3 and 7 years old. The mother uses bus transportation to take her seven-year old child to school. While that child is in school she then travels with the three -year old 20 miles by bus to her job in a day care center. They eat in local soup kitchens and the mother works for food on Saturdays.

These families are typical of the hundreds of families who need your help this Holiday season. Please consider getting involved in the Truck of Love Adopt-a-Family program this year.

God bless you,

Truck of Love

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

July, 2001

It is a long time between newsletters. The days come and go and life takes over.

Looking back: Thanksgiving and Christmas 2000 were times of great commotion around here. When all was finished there were 147 local families fed for the Thanksgiving holiday; that translated to over 600 meals! Christmas came and 232 families were the recipients of all sorts of Holiday cheer. More than 900 meals and 4500 gifts made their way to Bay area families. You helped in so many ways with food, gifts and money. Some of you came and helped us load bags of food and wrap presents. Then you delivered these to needy families. Many of you adopted families, contacted them and helped make their Holidays very bright.

This year we received many calls and cards from thankful families. You have been a part of a very special gift of love to people who could easily lose hope. Your prayers and donations have encouraged and supported families who have very difficult lives. Thank you.

In February Pete and I had the joy of giving a Married Couples Retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos. Along with Fr. Jim Hanley, we accompanied 12 married couples through a weekend of prayer, music and reflection. It was great. We have agreed to do this again next year February 8-10, 2002. Call us or contact the Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos for further details.

In May our daughter Julie and I gave the Mother-Daughter Retreat - also at the Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos. We had 33 mothers and daughters and granddaughters in attendance. Pete helped us with music and we had a weekend we will all cherish for many years.

On the local front, Pete and I just finished our third annual downtown San Jose Immersion Trip in collaboration with St. Francis High School (Ken Biggs and Sister Jodi Min as staff). For one week in late June, we had 14 St. Francis High School Senior students live and work at a variety of agencies in downtown San Jose. What a huge success this program has been! We lived at St. Patrick's Convent on 9th and Santa Clara and worked with several downtown groups who help the poor, the elderly or people with very low incomes. At Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen we not only helped prepare and serve dinner, but we got into line with the homeless people and sat among them at dinner and learned at lot about people who are not so different from us. At Washington School we helped tutor some of the 600 children who attend summer school. We loaded bags and boxes of food for the 200 + people who get in line every Wednesday at John XXIII Center for Asian elderly. One evening we went to Heritage Home (a home for pregnant women who need a safe place to live). Here we brought dinner and spent time with the women whose lives are in chaos, but who have chosen life for their unborn children. Three times during the week we went to the First Christian Church and played with the almost 30 children who sleep on their floor each night. The people of this Church have chosen to open their door to families who have no place to go. By the third night I had mothers handing me their babies - just happy to have a grandmother nearby.

July found us in Pisinemo when we "visited" the summer day camp on the Tohono O'odham reservation. We managed to arrive at the end of the camp day on July 3rd and spent most of the camp day on July 4th. Now called TOTOL Camp (Tohono O'odham Truck of Love), the camp is being staffed this year by 9 people from off the reservation and over 20 O'odham. As in years past there were children ages 5 - 18 having lots of fun with games and sports and art projects. This year the O'odham are completely responsible for crafts and sports and games.

Larry Wilson, Eric Wilson, Sam Fayaunt, Scott and Mandy Bell and Cathy Baker are making camp happen for about 100 children. This year O'odham came from other districts on the reservation to participate in camp activities and to learn about how to make this kind of event happen in their districts. This 15-year journey of camp has made a remarkable impact on the people of the reservation. Your donations are funding the camp - we thank you for the more than $9,000.00 we have sent to Truck of Love South to make this year's camp a reality. Most of that money pays for food and transportation. Larry Wilson cooks two meals each day for the more than 130 children and staff. Busses and vans go out every morning and evening to transport the children and adults to camp from villages as far away as 50 miles. This year we saw lots of first generation campers at camp as leaders and staff people. We took lots of photos and hope to display them on our web site (www.truckoflove.org) - check it out in about a month!

Pete is meeting more and more people in San Jose who need help. Some people call home a cardboard box next to an abandoned railway track near downtown. Others have shelter, but need extra help with food or transportation. Often he is able to refer people to one of the many local agencies that have social workers on staff to deal with long term solutions.

Once each month Pete drives to Tijuana, Mexico where he meets with Maria Felix and her community in Colonia Tenochtitlan. We are able to help the people with food, clothing, medical supplies and money for education. More than $800.00 each month goes to this hard working community. These are people who often have to decide on food or medicine as there is not money for both. Your donations help them to have these basic necessities.

Your donations enable us to help so many people who need a little relief from their very difficult daily lives. Your donations tell people that there is someone who cares. After Pete has been able to help in some way people often say "God bless you!" God has blessed each of us. We are blessed with some gift that we are meant to share. Thank you for sharing some of your gifts with the people served by Truck of Love.

 

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

October, 2000

What good is it, if a person claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him? Suppose a person is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, Go, I wish you well, keep warm and well fed, but does nothing about the person‚s physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it not accompanied by action, is dead. James 1:14-17

I wish you could meet Lynne. She is a middle-aged woman who we have known for about 15 years. Our daughter will never forget one Sunday when Lynne came to our house and wanted to clean up her car so she could live in it more comfortably. At that time, Julie was a teenager and she innocently volunteered to help Lynne. About 15 minutes into this project Julie called me outside to see what she had uncovered ˆ maggots in the upholstery. All we could do was scrub and vacuum and hope we had cleansed the car of the pests. Lynne was getting ready to have her children for a visit in her home ˆ her car.

A few years later, Lynne was on our doorstep again, This time it was Christmas and she wanted some help with gifts for her son and daughter. They would be spending Christmas day in her car with her. She had a puzzle of a Christmas tree and really wanted a flat board so they could work on this puzzle together in the car.

Today, Lynne's children are older and have been living for some time with their grandmother and aunt. But recently these two women were in an auto accident and can no longer care for the boy and girl. They now live with Lynne in her car.

Each day your donations enable Truck of Love to help people like Lynne. These are the people who fall through the cracks of our society. Some people have homes, some have cars and some need bus passes or food. All of them need a loving person to listen to them. Thank you for your help.

We are entering the holiday season. As I sit here at the computer, it is early October. Already in the first 6 days of October, Pete has sixty-five families who have asked for help at Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. He is receiving more than 30 phone calls each day from people in need of some kind of help.

ADOPT-A-FAMILY PROGRAM

WE NEED YOUR HELP! - THANKSGIVING ADOPT-A-FAMILY

Last year we helped hundreds of families with food for Thanksgiving. How can you help?

Call Pete at (408)295-7320 or e-mail him at peteandsue@netgate.net

Adopt-a-family for Thanksgiving

Buy food and deliver it to a family (you can choose the size of the

family)

Donate food and/or money to buy food and we will deliver it

Help on Saturday, November 18, to sort and deliver food to families in need (we will meet at St. Nicholas School in Los Altos ˆ call Pete for details)

CHRISTMAS ADOPT-A-FAMILY

Last year we helped 198 families at Christmas. How can you help?

Call Pete at (408)295-7320 or e-mail him at peteandsue@netgate.net

Adopt-a-family for Christmas

Buy food and gifts and deliver them to the family

You can choose the size of the family

We recommend no more than $10/person for food

We recommend no more than $25/person for gifts

Donate food or gifts or money and we will deliver to the family

Help on Saturday, December 23 to sort and deliver food and gifts to families (we will meet at St. Nicholas School in Los Altos call Pete for details)

UPDATE ON ROBERTO

Many of you have read about Roberto on our web site www.truckoflove.org. Please check out the web site for all the information. Roberto has finished his treatment in the United States. He has returned home with some new equipment and new medicines. Kate and Greg Kremer continue to be in touch with the family and, as needed, are sending medicines to them. We are about to pay the last of the bills your donations covered weeks of care in some very specialized physical therapy programs. Roberto and his family are deeply grateful to each of you who cared so much to sacrifice your hard-earned dollars to help them. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. This is a lifelong journey for this family.

TIDBITS FROM TRUCK OF LOVE SOUTH

Scott, Mandy and Zoe Bell have sent us their newsletter about last June's summer camp on the Tohono O‚Odham Indian Reservation. Thanks to your continuing donations, we were able to help fund the summer camp (even though this was the first year Pete and I were not present). Thanks to your generosity Scott and Mandy and their able staff had an incredible three weeks with the O‚Odham leaders and children. The camp tradition has become a reality. This is an annual event that children and adults of the tribe anticipate with great excitement.

I just had an e-mail from one of our original campers from 1985. She is now mother of two children and lives in Tucson where she has a job. She wanted me to know that her children go to visit their grandmother in Pisinemo each summer just so they can attend the camp. They look forward to it all year. Thank you to each of you who helps make this possible.

THANK YOU Shoreline Printing in Mountain View - Kathie Behnke for our labels and mailing list - Scott at Sherman‚s Auto in Mountain View for keeping our vehicles in good running order - Tom Smith for keeping our computers up and running - Rob Perrier our webmaster (Please e-mail him and let him know what you think about our web site.) Mark Smith for web site help. Scott and Mandy Bell. Nancy Novak and John Akers for long service on our board of Directors (they have moved out of the area). Nel Anton, Mary Alice Callahan, Glen Haubl and Phil McCrillis, our remaining Board members.

PLEASE REMEMBER IN YOUR PRAYERS

Larry Bell who died just as our last newsletter went to press. Larry was a long-time supporter of our work and was the father of Scott Bell who has now formed Truck of Love South. Cind Tresser, who died very suddenly last month. Cind was a participant on two Truck of Love trips one to Tijuana and one to the camp in Arizona.

We are grateful to each of these families for designating Truck of Love for donations in memory of Larry and Cind. We will continue to remember Larry and Cind and their families in our prayers and ask you to also remember them in prayer.

Truck of Love
P.O. Box 269
Los Altos, CA 94023
www.truckoflove.org
peteandsue@netgate.net

DONATIONS

Your checks can be mailed to Truck of Love, P.O. Box 269, Los Altos, CA 94023.

Call Pete for the Thanksgiving and Christmas programs at (408)295-7320 or

e-mail him at peteandsue@netgate,net.

For furniture and clothing donations we recommend you call:

New Start Furniture Fund (650) 322-6716

Mama Branch (650) 325-2848

Bounsey Virasak (650) 327-9871. We have worked with each of these groups and refer many of our people in need to them for these items.

CALENDAR

Pete is still making monthly trips to Tijuana with money, food and clothing. (He picks up the clothing from Mama Branch in East Palo Alto.)

November 18 We need help sorting and delivering food for Thanksgiving.

December 23 We need help sorting and delivering food and presents for Christmas.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

April, 2000

Life is full of changes and surprises. In scripture, heralds of news usually begin with a statement like: "Fear not." or "Don't be afraid." It seems our whole adult lives we have been challenged to believe that. Another way to put it for us is to:"Let go and let God." Sometimes easier said than done!

These past 20 months since Pete's accident have been a time of tremendous change for Truck of Love. Before July 1998, Pete was the primary physical mover of all sorts of things - stoves, refrigerators, couches, clothes, etc. All that has now come to a screeching halt! Pete is unable to do the physical work. Added to that we lost our warehouse in December and so Truck of Love is completely out of the business of collecting stuff.

However, we have other outlets for your gifts of love:

FURNITURE: New Start Furniture Fund in East Palo Alto (650)322-9716. We have been working with Phil Van Poestch for several months and his group is willing to pick up furniture in good condition and will distribute it to people in need. We are referring many of the people we help to this organization.

CLOTHING: Mama Branch in East Palo Alto (650)325-2848 or George Viresak in Redwood City(650)367-9871. We have been working with Mama Branch and George Viresak for many years. They are willing to pick up your donations and they will be given to people in need.

We wondered how we could let go of the moving of material goods from one place to another and have found each of these people to be most helpful. Mama Branch has even opened her warehouse so Pete can have volunteers fill his van before he makes his monthly trip to Mexico.

We let go of our warehouse and God found an even better way. So what is happening with Truck of Love these days? What else have we had to let go of? What are we still doing? Here are some updates:

TIJUANA

Pete is still making monthly trips to Tijuana. On his way to Tijuana he drops off the load of clothing at Scott and Mandy Bell's home in San Ysidro. People from Tijuana come across the border and pick up clothing from Scott and Mandy. Pete then goes into Tijuana where we are still working with the people in Colonia Tenochtitlan, Colonia Obrera and now Colonia La Presa. Each month it costs Truck of Love approximately $1800.00 to pay for beans and rice, help some families with school, some with medical care, some house building and always the emergencies like funeral costs. Truck of Love works through several community leaders who are helping their neighbors in need.

ARIZONA - TOHONO O O'DHAM RESERVATION

Pete is no longer going with trucks to Arizona. However, Scott and Mandy Bell with their own organization,Truck of Love South, are helping the people in Arizona. Scott, on an almost monthly basis, has been visiting villages with loads of clothing and other goods.

ARIZONA - SUMMER CAMP - COUNSELORS NEEDED

This summer the annual Truck of Love summer camp will be conducted by Truck of Love South and the Tohono O O'Odham. Pete and Sue said a sad farewell to their desert friends at the end of camp last year. But with a strong commitment from the O'Odham and from Scott and Mandy Bell, Cathy Baker, Tim Cross and Theresa Beltramo the camp will continue this year. They are looking for Veteran Camp Counselors this year. So if you have ever been to camp and want to be part of this formation year - please call Scott and Mandy Bell at (619)476-9851. Or e-mail them at sbell_mt@yahoo.com They NEED YOU!!!

This year Leadership Training in Arizona will begin June 28. Camp will be July 3-14. They are looking for experienced help.

LOCAL

Pete is very able to serve people in need. Each day he is out visiting with people from San Jose to East Palo Alto. Now that he is not managing the warehouse, he is finding that he can spend more time with people.

One day he drove a man to the DMV to take his driving test so the man could get his license and a job. He gives people Albertsons scrip and often takes them to buy the food so they don't have to carry the groceries on the bus. On Valentine's Day Pete and Nel, one of the members of our Board of Directors, took Valentines to some of the people served by Truck of Love.

Each month there are people in need of bus passes, scrip for food, transportation to the doctor or sometimes just a listening ear. Recently he has been dealing with three families who have been burned out of their apartments.

Because of your generosity Truck of Love is still able to fill in where other organizations cannot. Several nights a month there are people in need of emergency shelter in local motels. Often there is someone out in the rain in need of a hot cup of coffee.

Truck of Love continues to be a place where people find comfort and encouragement. It seems as though when people are poor more bad things happen to them. They get behind on their rent or bills and don't know how to negotiate to pay a little each month. Pete is now able to spend time helping some of those who call to begin to learn how to solve some of their problems instead of running from them.

We just had a call from a woman whose brother is the only one in her family with a job. She had to have him arrested for assaulting her 11 year old son. Now they have no income. Your donations help families like this.

ROBERTO FUND - HELP A BOY TO WALK

Some of you know our friends Kate and Greg Kremer. They spent some time about a year ago in Nicaragua. While there, they met a family whose young son could not walk. Since coming home, Kate and Greg have thought a lot about this boy. They have been haunted by the lack of resources for this boy in his home country. They really believe that with some medical help, Roberto can have an improvement in his physical condition. After consulting some U.S. doctors they have made the decision to bring Roberto and his mother to the U.S. It is important for Roberto's mother to come with him because she will learn the physical therapy treatment and be able to help Roberto when they return home. She will also take the knowledge back to her village where she has already formed a group for families with disabled children. Many families will be helped by Roberto's trip to the U.S.

Kate and Greg cannot pay for this treatment alone. They have asked their friends to donate money to the cause. Truck of Love has agreed to help Roberto. If you or anyone you know would like to help Roberto to walk, please send your checks to Truck of Love, P.O. Box 269, Los Altos, CA 94023. DESIGNATE YOUR DONATIONS TO THE "ROBERTO FUND".

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & PROJECTS

We recently traveled to San Luis Obispo to speak with the service club at the University of California, SLO. It was our pleasure to join this group and speak with them about the possibilities that open up in loving service. We are soon to be guests at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in San Jose and the United Methodist Church in Los Altos to talk about the work of Truck of Love. In April we will be the guests of several groups outside of Atlanta, Georgia to spread the message of Truck of Love and how anyone can do this work. In June we will once again be involved with St. Francis High School in an inner city immersion experience for students in downtown San Jose.

Life has not stopped for Truck of Love. Life has changed and it is better than ever. We have once again let go of the familiar and are excited for the future. All God's blessings are there when we listen and make ourselves available!

THANK YOU

We thank so many of you for your donations in memory of Larry Bell. Thank you to Kathie Behnke for taking on the maintenance of our mailing list. Thank you to Shoreline printing. Thank you to Rob Perrier and the Smith family for helping with our website. Thank you all for your prayers.

WEBSITE

Be sure to look us up periodically at www.truckoflove.org Check "Pete's Corner" and "Sue's Corner" for monthly (almost) reflections on our work with the poor.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

February, 1999

MISSION SAN JOSE
SUMMER DAY CAMP '99

What a great summer camp we had &emdash; our 15th in the Arizona desert on the Tohono O'Odham Reservation! Our Truck of Love staff came from all over the United States: California, Colorado, Illinois and Ohio. We converged on the village of Pisinemo on the afternoon of July 6. By Wednesday morning we were into our leadership training on the ROPES course at San Simon School. We were led by Samuel Fayaunt and many young people from the tribe. We went there for the children. We gave and gave of our creativeness and our energy. We gave till it seemed there was no more. And then we looked at the sunset, prayed, sang and miraculously we were ready for more.

This year was particularly memorable, since Pete and I realized that it must be our last year at camp. At our end-of-camp Thank You Dinner we announced our retirement from camp. We will always treasure the visits and the stories and the gifts we received from so many people.

I was moved by the story of one young man who has been a "camper" since he was 6 years old &emdash; he is now a father.

One evening he visited with his small child. He told me how much he missed coming to camp this year, because he had to work. He said that on camp days when he would walk through the gate into the camp area, it was as if something inside him changed. He said it was different when camp was happening in the village. He talked about never having a father &emdash; how he was trying to be a good father to his children. Then, with tears in his eyes he told me that Pete had been his father.

For the past fifteen years you have made it possible for Truck of Love to sponsor the Mission San Jose Summer Day Camp at Pisinemo. You have made it possible for many wonderful relationships among the O'Odham and the counselors we bring. We have been assured by a group of O'Odham and "Truck of Lovers" that the camp will continue. We pledged the support of Truck of Love in whatever way we can help. (We know they will need financial help as the camp costs about $7000.00 to operate.) In the Spring we will once again remind all of you of our commitment to the O'Odham children in the Arizona desert.

 BITS AND PIECES

Since Pete's accident and the loss of his right foot, life has changed a lot. Pete can no longer move the heavy items and so we refer all furniture donations to New Start Furniture Fund in Palo Alto. Pete has met with Philip Van Poetsch, the founder of the New Start Furniture Fund, who is happy to have your donations of used furniture. He will also serve the clients we refer to him from Truck of Love who are in need of furniture for their homes. Be sure to call New Start Furniture Fund at (650)322-9716 to have their drivers pick up your donations of furniture. You can also find them at: furnituregivers@aol.com

Mother Branch in East Palo Alto has worked with Pete and Truck of Love for many years. We help Mother Branch to serve her community with food and clothing. She helps us by giving us her valuable insights and keeping us in her constant prayers. Mother Branch wishes to say thank you to all who are helping her ministry to the poor in her town through Truck Of Love funds, Thanksgiving and Christmas program as well as personal visitations to families in need.

Olivia Casillas and her six children live in Colonia Tenochtitlan, Tijuana, Mexico. Her family is living in a one room shack that is about ten by twelve feet. She needs more space before the rains come. Would you be willing to help her? We would like to help her to build another room approximately twelve by eighteen feet, with a partition, which will cost $2,100.00.

The people of Colonia La Presa &emdash; which is outside of Tijuana, toward Tecolote - are building a church with the help of Truck of Love donations. On our recent visit to Tijuana, Jaime Arias and his wife "heard" we were in town and raced over to see us at Maria Felix's home where we were eating posole( a very wonderful soup). Jaime had not seen us in several months and was so excited to take us to Colonia La Presa to see the church and classrooms and kitchen that you are helping the people to build. We were really impressed. Jaime says: " Thank you and God bless you all."

About twenty years ago, we received a call from a friend asking if we could help a Laotian refugee family that had been adopted by his church. That was when we first met Bounsey Viresak and his family. Since that time, Bounsey has been able to buy a home in Redwood City as he continues to help other Laotian refugees who come to this country. Usually the families come with only the clothes on their back and are in need of everything. Bounsey wishes to thank all of you who have helped his people with money, food, household items, clothing and Christmas gifts.

Pete visits once each month with Scott and Mandy Bell who live in Chula Vista, California and are beginning their own non-profit organization, "Truck of Love South". Pete is currently supplying them with clothing for Mexico and Arizona trips. Scott has taken over Pete's deliveries of clothing and furniture to the Tohono O'Odham reservation where each month he now visits a village to deliver your donations. If you live near San Diego and want to donate items to "Truck of Love South" please call Scott and Mandy at (619) 476-9851.

TOP OF PAGE
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

November, 1998

Dear Friends of Truck of Love,

Thank you for your tremendous response to our last letter. Your prayers have kept our spirits high, made healing progress and inspired many people to volunteer to do Pete's work. Your money donations have enabled us to continue to support the communities in Arizona, Mexico and the local area. Your time making phone calls, pickups and deliveries is a blessing to everyone served by Truck of Love.

Life is great! Life is also completely changed for us since Pete's fall from the mountain on July 18. Pete, as you know, is a person who likes to be out with people, helping wherever he can. He keeps talking about just that, but know he also has a new gift in each of you who decided to offer your time and energy to "do" for him. You cannot imagine how it feels for us to know you are there to do the work of Truck of Love.

Pete is continuing to progress. His right foot was amputated on September 8 and he received his temporary prosthetic foot on October 26. It is a slow process. He is driving again, but is unable to lift anything but himself with his crutches. So we still need your help.

The Holidays are coming! Here is what is happening!

TOP OF PAGE

 

Copyright © 2000 - 2013  [Truck of Love]. All rights reserved.