On the Road Again

Near or far, trucker never misses a meeting

Alvin Bouchard may be miles from home and days away from seeing family and Lion friends in Nova Scotia, Canada. But he carries his Lion heart in his big rig, delivering kindness all over North America.

The owner and operator of Total Logistics Trucking in Prince Edward Island, Canada, has been a long-haul trucker since 1994.  About 18 months ago he became a charter member of the Nova Scotia Cyber Lions Club where club president Kim Stewart says he has missed only one of their weekly meetings.

Man taking selfie in front of truck
Alvin Bouchard is on the road for months at a time, but wherever he is, he’s always looking for a way to spread kindness.

Bouchard doesn’t have to be physically present at meetings to be a Lion. He is serving, doing good deeds whenever and wherever he stops. That can be anywhere in Canada or the U.S., delivering everything from peanuts to bubblegum. He has traveled through every state except Kansas and Oregon.

“Little acts of kindness seem to be a big deal,” said Bouchard by phone from an Arkansas restaurant where he took a break from the road and waited for his ice cream cone. “There was an older woman going into the mall and I opened the door for her. She was still talking about it two weeks later. It wasn’t anything I thought was a big deal.

“Occasionally I go in and eat somewhere and pay for someone else in there, especially if they have children with them. Yeah, I have been known to pay for the car behind me,” he says. “Last Christmas there was a family going to return groceries at the counter in Walmart because they didn’t have the money, so I just paid the rest for them.”

Belonging to a virtual club allows him to do these things quietly, as he prefers. There is no recognition needed, he says. “The people have already said ‘Thank you.’ “

Stewart says the cyber club allows Bouchard to attend meetings and have a sense of belonging to a service club, which as a long-haul trucker wasn’t afforded to him before. “His ideas are great at enriching our Lions club.”

Bouchard thanks Stewart, a longtime friend, for bringing him into Lions, for encouraging a lot of young people to join, and for accepting new ideas. He may only get home to see them in person for a few days every three months, but “basically I’m at the meetings,” he says. “With the phone I can still talk in the meeting. I can still be a part of the meeting, and I can give my input.”

As a child growing up on Prince Edward Island where his parents worked on a potato farm, Bouchard never knew much about Lions except that his mother would go to Lions’ bingos. Next-door was a family where the father was a farmer and a potato salesman who taught him to drive the tractor and truck at a young age. “They spoiled me rotten,” remembers Bouchard. “They treated me really well.

“Now I look at it as time to give back.”

Sometimes it’s a challenge getting people to accept his generosity. Some people will say they don’t want charity. Others are still keeping socially distant.

“There was one individual. He didn’t like that I paid for his dinner. I had no idea who he was. But then I said, ‘I’m a Lion and it’s just an act of kindness,” and he was okay with it,” Bouchard says.

“I just find that if I say, ‘I’m Alvin Bouchard. I’m a Lion, and I’d like to help you with your groceries,’ it’s better. Saying I’m a Lion expands the number of people who are open to receiving a little kindness.”