Earlier this month, C-TRAN handed over the keys of 11 former C-VAN vehicles that are now being used by six local nonprofits to help those in need.
The vans were awarded as part of VanGo, a surplus vehicle grant program that helps meet the transportation needs of social service organizations. As the first group of vans was sent out, C-TRAN hosted a gathering to celebrate the recipients and the important work they do. Some could hardly contain their excitement.
“It’s tremendous,” says Rekah Strong, executive director of Educational Opportunities for Children and Families. “We do not have a lot of unrestricted dollars to spend on things like vehicles.”
EOCF is a Vancouver-based nonprofit that provides early childhood education and family support programs across Southwest Washington. The organization serves more than 2,000 families in a given year, and covers a large area that includes Clark, Pacific and Cowlitz County. EOCF received two vans through the grant program, and that will go a long way in helping families in need access those services, Strong says.
“One of the biggest things that gets in the way of parents participating in their children’s education is transportation,” she says.
For Hands of Favor, which also received two vehicles thanks to the grant program, the vans are an opportunity to expand its mission of spreading God’s love by providing free haircuts and other services at dozens of sites around the community. Says Derek Thompson, Hands of Favor’s executive director: “We provide haircuts, but we love people first.”
The vehicles may open up new doors for Hands of Favor, Thompson says. The organization recently asked community members for other ideas on how to use the vans. In other words, he says, “How can we make the community better with what C-TRAN so generously gave us?”
C-TRAN is proud to partner with these great organization to support their valuable work. Here’s the full list of recipients:
Also partnering in the program is Cascadia Technical Academy, which has offered to provide maintenance of the vehicles through its Diesel Technology Program to any interested participant.
The VanGo program donates vans that would otherwise be decommissioned and sold at auction. C-TRAN looks forward to continuing this program and forming partnerships with new organizations in the future. Congratulations to all recipients, and thanks for the work you do!