Centerline driver Jaime “Shorty” Barrera is not the largest man. But he has a heart as big as Texas.
The lead driver for Centerline’s Hawk Logistics account in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Barrera is the welcoming face of Centerline. He onboards new drivers and teaches a weeklong safety and orientation program. He also helped Centerline and Hawk celebrate fellow drivers with driver appreciation events at the Texas sites throughout September.
“He’s Hawk’s go-to person when they need a problem solved, whether it’s driving to California to help pick up solar generators or delivering a part to Tampa so the plant won’t shut down,” said Centerline Director of Business Development John Trahan.
But it’s what he does when he’s not on the road that makes Shorty the huge presence that he is. He has been known to provide shelter to fellow drivers during hard times and to help them get resources while on the road and awaiting their first checks. He arranges driver schedules to provide transportation to work for those who don’t have it and fills storage units with beds, sofas and refrigerators to deliver to those in need.
And in his hometown of Garland, Texas, he helps Hope’s Door and Latter House provide services to women affected by domestic violence and helps Abundant Life Church feed the homeless and put on garage sales.
“I grew up on the streets since I was 12, so I decided if I ever got the opportunity to help somebody, I was going to give back,” Barrera said. “Our motto in our house is if you don’t pass along your blessings you don’t earn the ones you receive.”
That motto has led him to raise seven stepchildren with his wife, a Coast Guard veteran who also serves others. His children have served in the Marines, worked as nurses, social workers and police and even followed in his footsteps as a truck driver. And like he has with fellow drivers, he passed along the desire to help others and maintain a positive attitude throughout any hardship.
“My dad used to say every morning when you put your feet on the ground, your whole day is up to you,” Barrera said. “If you have a good day or a bad day, don’t hold anyone else liable for what you did, the decision was yours. I believe everything happens for a reason. You gotta just stay positive – concentrate on what you can control.”