The pandemic has caused substantial need throughout the community, so State Farm decided to not sell five passenger vans and instead give them to Bloomington-Normal nonprofits.
“It's something that may not be a huge grand gesture, but finding those opportunities during a pandemic, like right now, where they have that dire need ... it allows us to not just get rid of the vans in any old fashion, but actually find a way to use them for a good cause, like what these nonprofits are doing,” said State Farm spokesperson Brodie Hurtado.
Hurtado said the substantial need this year played a factor in the donations.
“Knowing the needs that some of these organizations have with getting some of their clients to some of their medical appointments, just helping them transport them around when sometimes they aren't able to,” said Hurtado. “We saw a need and we weren't using these vans anymore, and the opportunity to give them to these organizations that actually need to transport multiple people, multiple times a day, was kind of the perfect plan for us to use the vans.”
State Farm has inspected the vehicles and passed the keys off to Recycling Furniture for Families, Home Sweet Home Ministries, Marcfirst, the Community Health Care Clinic and the Living Well United Senior Citizen Center.
“Some of them are multiple passenger vans, from anywhere from seven to 12 people; they've all gone through thorough inspection and safety checks, making sure that they're all within safety guidelines and that they're getting very good vehicles that are going to be of long-term use for them,” said Hurtado.
Recycling Furniture for Families will use the van for smaller donation pickups as well as transporting staff between warehouses.
The Home Sweet Home Ministries will use its van to transport their residents to appointments, veterans to the local VA clinic, and to take residents to a COVID-19 testing center if the need arises.
Marcfirst will use the van to transport program clients to various educational and recreational events.
The Community Health Care Clinic will now be able to deliver medications to patients who have difficulty securing transportation.
Living Well United will use the van to transport seniors who do not drive so they are able to participate in the various education, exercise and socialization experiences the center provides.
“We did a thorough search into which nonprofits might need to use them the most. Which ones needed transportation for just their daily activities,” said Hurtado. “So with the opportunity to review some of our current relationships and the needs for those, we actually reached out to them to see if they needed them and then went through that vetting process.”
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