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Gift of van to non-profit allows group to better serve clients

Gift of van to non-profit allows group to better serve clients

Article was added on Friday, May 12, 2017

By Dianne Poston Owens

KINGSTREE, S.C. - The home delivery of meals to some Williamsburg County senior citizens has been made a little easier, thanks to Santee Electric Cooperative.

The Coop recently donated a 1998 15-passenger luxury van that it no longer needs to the group for its use. The van will be helpful to the group that cares for many of the county's senior citizens, Judy McCrea, deputy director of Vital Aging, said.

The van will be used to pick up and deliver meals to citizens, as well as citizens to events, she said. Used over the years for making deliveries of people and supplies, the van was presented to Vital Aging officials the end of March.

"We look for ways to benefit the community," Adrel Langley, manager of community relations of the Kingstree-based utility, said, adding, "and giving this van so it can continue being used to help others, giving it to Vital Aging, that's a good thing."

Terri McCrea, fleet support specialist for Santee Electric Cooperative, on hand to give the keys, title and such to Judy McCrea and Robert Welch, said the van had served its usefulness for the Coop. "We do this periodically," she said. A similar van was given to a Clarendon County helping agency previously, she said.

The Vital Aging office, at 204 Oak Street, Kingstree, has routine office hours, a website and a Facebook page for keeping up with its clients and supporters. The volunteer non-profit is somewhat supported by the county, but is donor-supported as well.

Vital Aging, the county's helping agency for senior citizens, serves more than 235 clients through its home-delivered meals program, Judy McCrae said. The meals are delivered in person by volunteers and employees with Vital Aging, giving a personal touch to many seniors' lives. "Citizens really appreciate these meals ... It makes a big difference in their lives," she added.

"There are nine routes in the county," she said. Through our work, some 300 meals are delivered each week. The frozen meals ensure clients get one week's worth of food at a time, Welch, executive director of Vital Aging, said. The meals are pre-packaged, ready to be heated, sort of like a TV dinner, he added.

A vendor supplies the meals to Vital Aging and Vital Aging delivers meals to citizens, Judy McCrea said.

Vital Aging exists to promote the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of Williamsburg County's senior citizens, its website said. "Services are provided within a framework of love, understanding, and respect to allow an opportunity for mature adults to continue their lives with meaning and purpose."

In addition to the home-delivered meals, the non-profit offers wellness centers where senior citizens enjoy crafts, a meal and socialization. Transportation is offered for folks utilizing those centers, as well, Welch said.

"When a vehicle is no longer needed, such as this one," Terri McCrae, said. "We look for a good cause, such as this one, to gift it to." 

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