|Perdue Farms drivers at Operation Teddy Bear in Salisbury, Md.|
Salisbury, Md. (Wednesday, December 11, 2013) — For 30 years, truckers and associates from Perdue Farms have joined community volunteers the first Saturday in December to deliver a little holiday cheer to residents of the Holly Center, a State of Maryland residential facility for people with mental and physical disabilities.
Inspired by the Red Sovine country music hit “Teddy Bear,” Operation Teddy Bear enables Holly Center residents to take a ride in a big rig with Perdue’s professional drivers. The 20 drivers in their trucks, adorned with holiday decorations, navigated residents on an 11-mile loop through Wicomico County.
“Our residents so look forward each year to Operation Teddy Bear and the opportunity to take a ride in a big rig,” said Marlina Belote, director of volunteer services and community relations at the Holly Center. “We’re so blessed for what Perdue and its drivers have given our residents through the years. We’re especially excited to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of our partnership this year. We just commend Perdue for that dedication and commitment to the Holly Center.”
The late Mr. Sovine recorded the song “Teddy Bear” in 1976. It tells the story of a CB radio conversation between a trucker and a housebound disabled boy who desperately wants a ride in a rig after his father, a trucker, has been killed. At the end of the song the trucker goes to pick up the boy to give him a ride and finds the boy’s street clogged with rigs driven by drivers who had heard the conversation over the radio.
After hearing Mr. Sovine’s song, two associates helped launch the Operation Teddy Bear program at Perdue to help the residents of the Holly Center. Since the program’s inception, Perdue associates and truck drivers have been volunteering every year to provide rides for the residents at the Holly Center.
Following the morning rides, the drivers, their family members, and volunteers were treated to lunch provided by Perdue and the Holly Center.
“For us, Operation Teddy Bear really kicks off the Christmas season,” said Chairman Jim Perdue. “This a special time and just seeing the smiles on the faces of the residents makes it all worthwhile. Events like these really showcase the heart and soul of our drivers. They decorate their trucks and volunteer their time to give back. Their community efforts often go unsung, but that does not stop them from giving. I applaud their efforts with Operation Teddy Bear and throughout the year.”
About Perdue Farms
Perdue Farms is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for everyone we touch through innovative food and agricultural products. Since our beginning on Arthur Perdue’s farm in 1920, to our expansion into agribusiness and the introduction of the PERDUE® brand of chicken and turkey under Frank Perdue, and continuing with our third generation of leadership with Chairman Jim Perdue, we’ve remained family owned and family operated. We are the parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness. Through our PERDUE®, HARVESTLAND® and COLEMAN NATURAL® and COLEMAN ORGANIC® food brands; agricultural products and services; and stewardship and corporate responsibility programs, we are working to become the most-trusted name in food and agricultural products. Learn more about Perdue Farms and our Corporate Responsibility Report at www.perduefarms.com.