Every time you see a loaded log truck on the highways, you’re seeing another donation to support children’s hospitals.

The Log A Load For Kids campaign, started in 1988 by the South Carolina Forestry Association in cooperation with the Children’s Miracle Network, has since spread to over 30 other states, raising millions of dollars to aid children’s hospitals.

Participating logging contractors and other members of the forestry community donate the value of a truckload of logs to a children’s hospital in their community or participate in related fund-raising projects. One hundred percent of the donation goes to help children — no money is deducted for administrative costs.

At the recent Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show at Starkville, Miss., Stacy Benefield and Celia Holloman, Mississippi Loggers Association, were selling T-shirts, caps, and other items to support the charity.

Since 1994, the Mississippi Loggers Association has been a benefactor of the Children’s Hospital Network, through the Log-A-Load for Kids program that includes equipment auctions and other fund-raising activities.

“We’re really proud of the contributions our members have made to this worthwhile cause,” Benefield said.

From 1994 through 2011, the Blair Batson Center for Children at the University Medical Center, Jackson, Miss., had received $912,814 from the.

Since the Mississippi Loggers Association began sponsoring the Log A Load for Kids program in 1994, contributions to the Jackson hospital have been a benefit to the more than 70,000 young Mississippians that come to that hospital each year for treatment. 

Award winners

MLA was granted the First Place Award by Mississippi Society of Association Executives in 1997 for its work with this program.

The association has held numerous events in the state, such as toy walks, auctions, raffles, publication of a cookbook, and sales of T-shirts and caps. 

Since 1993, loggers and members of the forestry community have raised more than $5.5 million for Arkansas Children's Hospital. The program is sponsored by the Arkansas Forestry Association in cooperation with the Arkansas Timber Producers Association.

 The Arkansas Log A Load For Kids committee agreed to fund a $1.5 million Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery, aimed at helping the hospital recruit and retain top-quality physicians in this specialty field 

Arkansas Log A Load For Kids has funded two $1.5 million endowments at ACH — one in pediatric cardiovascular surgery and another in support of the Angel One helicopter transport program — and a $1 million endowment in support of the hospital’s imaging and radiation program.

The program pledged to contribute all funds raised from 2008 to 2013 ($2 million) to help fund a new Trauma Unit, a state-of-the art facility that will treat the state’s most seriously injured children as part of the new South Wing.

In late 2011, ACH asked Log A Load to extend this commitment with an additional $2 million from 2013-2017 fund raising efforts, with $1 million to Emergency Services and $1 million to the Trauma Program. To honor this pledge, ACH named the new Emergency Department for Log A Load For Kids of Arkansas.

Forestry organizations in other Mid-South states and across the nation have raised large amounts for the Log A Load for Kids program.

National Log A Load Foundation Chair Rich Palermo, in thanking loggers and forestry organizations for their contributions, noted that the program “has no real corporate backing, offices, or paid staff — yet it will have raised over $35 million dollars for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals by our 25th anniversary.  

“What we've raised for the kids across the United States, and how we've raised it, impresses me every time I share with others what we've done — and what we continue to do.”

hbrandon@farmpress.com