Wish for New Wheels Coming True
Through the combined generosity and goodwill of a volunteer-led grassroots fundraising campaign, a grant from the John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, and a grant from The Farmer Family Foundation, St. Joseph Home is getting one of the biggest items on its wish list – a reliable new bus.
“This bus is so much more than just transportation,” said VP of Advancement Jordan Huizenga. “For our residents, who have complex disabilities and require wheelchairs, it means they have access to education and the community. In a typical year we transport them, with their caregivers, on the equivalent of 7,000 trips to where they need, and want to go, including school and day programs, doctor appointments, and community outings.” He added, “While we take meticulous care of our vehicles the bus used most frequently was purchased in 1994.”
Jason White, who attends one of St. Joseph Home’s Adult Day Programs, is well known throughout his hometown of Blue Ash and beyond for waving at passersby who honk in response. Jason’s dad, Pete White, wanted to share Jason’s gifts with the world, and that’s how the Honks for Jason campaign was born. Since July, the nonprofit has raised more than $23,000, with a $5,000 donation from Total Quality Logistics putting the effort over the top. White credits ‘super community partners’ for growing the campaign from a family’s quest to a community-based cause, inspiring not only the major gifts, but also thousands of ‘neighbors’ to donate as they drove by.
Huizenga said supporters understand that this bus is valuable not only for St. Joseph Home, but for the community as well, as they include St. Joseph Home residents in a well-rounded community life, with trips to museums and parks, as well as shops and restaurants.
He added, “We are grateful to Peter, Lori, and Jason White, who spearheaded the Honks for Jason, campaign for getting us rolling on funding a replacement. And we want to thank generous donors throughout the community, including the John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, and The Farmer Family Foundation for jumping on the ‘bus-wagon’ and making this wish come true.”
The new vehicle, which will be specially adapted to carry six wheelchairs plus six passengers and a driver will cost just under $100,000.