Sunshine Van is putting more wheels on the road.
The program received a grant Tuesday from the Montgomery County Community Foundation to purchase two new low-floor mini vans, adding to the fleet used to drive local seniors to doctor’s appointments and other errands.
“I’m amazed at how these people help these elderly and disabled,” senior program director Kim Clark of Crawfordsville Parks and Recreation said. “Whether it’s dialysis appointments or a disabled individual that just needs to go to the grocery store, we provide the only transportation in Montgomery County for them.”
The $14,800 gift provides the money officials needed for an Indiana Department of Transportation grant to purchase the vans, which are expected to arrive early next year.
Five to six vans run each day making more than 70 runs across town.
The agency was among 15 local nonprofits awarded funds in the foundation’s last competitive grant cycle this year. More than $163,480 was doled out to agencies devoted to arts and culture, community development, education, health, historical preservation, human services and children.
The money comes from unrestricted funds provided by donors who give the foundation’s board discretion to award the dollars based on local need.
“It will be like Christmas around here. We’ll have a celebration,” executive director Kelly Taylor said during a ceremony at the foundation’s offices.
NICHES Land Trust received a grant for the conservation group’s recently formed Junior Ranger Program.
The $5,000 grant will pay for activity books geared toward children ages 5-12 that can be filled out while exploring Sugar Creek and the area’s other natural and historical features.
Children who complete the activities can earn a certificate and a pin from the trust. The books, the third in a series, will be available throughout Crawfordsville next spring.
“It’s just really great to see this lifelong love of nature being fostered in these kids,” deputy director Julie Rubsam said.
Altogether, the foundation has awarded $405,451 in competitive grants this year.
Other grants awarded Tuesday include:
• Athens Arts Gallery, $11,974 for the 2019 juried Salon Show
• Crawfordsville Main Street, $2,175 for trees, plants and watering bags
• Fuzzy Bear Preschool & Daycare, $23,867 for kitchen remodeling
• Montgomery County Educational Foundation, $25,000 for teacher grants
• North Montgomery School Corp., $20,562 for Makerspaces
• Crawfordsville Community School Corp., $10,000 for student medical, vision and dental needs, as well as drug education, CPR and AED supplies
• South Montgomery Community School Corp., $9,000 for vision, dental and counseling needs, as well as CPR training
• Montgomery County Historical Society, $8,263 for Lane Place repairs and removal of dead trees
• Family Crisis Shelter, $9,500 for new furniture
• Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, $2,500 to cover processing fees for large game or livestock donated by hunters and farmers
• Servants at Work, $9,000 for wheelchair ramps
• Women’s Resource Center, $6,000 for medical supplies and the Great Expectations program for pregnant women.