Cathy Robson said many seniors and disabled people in Nanaimo will have many more opportunities to interact with the community, thanks to Nanaimo realtor Gordon Halkett and his "Every Little Bit Helps" campaign.
Robson is the executive director of the Mid-Island Abilities & independent Living Society, which helps those with disabilities and other barriers live more independently.
The society was recently given the keys to a used Chrysler Town & Country minivan by Halkett's company, ReaList Realty, to help transport its clients around the region.
The initiative was part of Halkett's campaign that began in July which called on people to submit names of deserving people or organizations that would make the best use of a used van that was being retired from his company to help others in the community.
There were 61 applicants for the van, and the Mid-Island Abilities & independent Living Society was recently chosen as the vehicle's recipient.
"We were just ecstatic when we found out that we would get the van," Robson said Monday.
"It gives us a lot more opportunities to give local seniors more interaction with the community. It's a huge deal for us and it's really appreciated."
Along with the van, Don Goldsbury from the Midas Nanaimo on the Island Highway has offered two years' free maintenance on the van to assist the chosen organization.
Halkett has said that the concept for the donating a used company van to charity organizations began almost two years ago when he gave one to the Nanaimo 7-10 Club to assist in its operations.
"This is not about making money, it's about trying to be good people," Halkett said when the initiative began.
Robson said that Halkett had driven a van for the organization in the past, but she's been told the realtor didn't have any say in the final decision.
"We can now plan for many day trips that we just didn't have the vehicles to provide before, including bringing clients back to their old neighbourhoods for visits and going to festivals," she said.
"To be given this van is good heart-felt generosity and it will be well used."
RBarron @nanaimodailynews.com 250-729-4234
© Copyright 2013