Steinbach Community Outreach has purchased a vehicle that will make a big impact on the program as well as the community.
Office Manager Charlene Kroeker says it is very exciting to be able to offer even more to people. "We will always look to meet the need of our guests. (The vehicle) has been going pretty much non-stop since we got it. Steinbach has no public transportation and people who use our service at Outreach can't afford vehicles so they have to walk everywhere they go. Often this means they can't get to appointments that they need to go to, if we're arranging house meetings or something like that with them, they have no way of getting there. It ends up being us driving people to appointments, to the soup kitchen or food bank. It's been going non-stop that way."
It is not just used for driving around, Kroeker says the vehicle also allows Outreach to pick up. "It's allowed us to pick up large donations from local businesses. The more we're able to pick up, the more we can give to people in need. Up till now, our volunteers have been doing all this stuff with their personal vehicles. With the price of gas and the wear and tear to their vehicles, they were not able to do it anymore so this is really big for us."
Kroeker adds there is another benefit to the new addition. "It also expanded our street-level outreach work. When we had people bring food to someone who we know is outside, we can pull up in the vehicle and they know it's us, not some stranger. It's really helped us develop relationships."
Having been prepared for adding a vehicle, Kroeker says they are more than capable of handling the extra expense that comes with it. "There's some added expense but with our overall budget, it won't affect it so much. In fact, what we've been able to take in through donations, it's offset that expense. Simply by being able to go and pick up large donations. I think we're pretty much breaking even which has been very good."
Steinbach Community Outreach is always looking for people to help out and get more involved and Kroeker says it is easy to get ahold of them. "Call us at 204-380-2692. Our website is SteinbachCommunityOutreach.com and it has all of our contact info, so if anyone wants to be a driver for a morning or afternoon, just get in contact with us."