Family Turns Tragedy Into Gift-Giving Tradition

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After losing her truck-driving husband in a July 2011 accident, Crystal DiLuzio started a gift-giving tradition in his honor.

    For Crystal DiLuzio, this Christmas Eve is all about honoring the truckers.

    Crystal's husband, Carmen DiLuzio, was a truck driver who was killed while working on the New Jersey Turnpike in July 2011.

    To honor his memory and to give a little holiday joy to truck drivers passing through the area, Crystal and her two daughters launched a gift bag giveaway that they've been hosting for the past two years.

    This morning, at the Delaware Travel Plaza, the DiLuzios greeted truckers with homemade cookies and gift bags filled with items that Crystal says really come in handy for drivers who spend a lot of time on the road.

    "My husband was a truck driver and we do it to honor and remember him. We gave out countless bags, and containers of homemade cookies, and work gloves, and all kinds of things like toothpaste and deodorant; anything they'd need out on the road," Crystal said.

    According to Crystal, the event was a lot smaller last year. She and her daughters were only able to give away 25 gift bags and very few people participated. This year, however, the DiLuzio's were able to get several family members and friends involved in the effort and that resulted in a much bigger turnout.

    The DiLuzio's gave away more than 56 gift bags to truckers who were passing through the plaza.

    Crystal says the now annual event has helped the family to cope with their loss.

    "It’s a healing momement on our journey of coping, that we can at least do something to honor him and help the drivers as well," Crystal said.

    "Today was a good day and my daughters, they’re proud to remember their daddy and to let these other drivers know we’re making him proud by helping them out."