SHELBURNE, N.S. – Sou’West Nova Transit is sporting a new wheelchair accessible customized van in its fleet these days thanks in large part to the donation of almost $10,000 in December 2017 by the 100+ Women Who Care of Shelburne County.
The donation has “been a game changer for us,” said Renata Tweety, Sou’West Nova Transit manager. “Its amazing that in one night for an hour of time and a few dollars in an envelope you change the course of an organization. That’s really what’s happened through this.”
Tweety along with Sou’West Nova Transit dispatcher Elizabeth Chute and driver Debbie Ezard were on hand at the Dec. 5 meeting of 100+ Women Who Care at the Barrington Passage Lions Hall to show off the new wheels. “I absolutely love it,” said Ezard. “It steers great. It’s nice and warm,” adding the wheelchair ramp on the back is “exceptional. It’s nice and safe and sturdy.”
The 2018 Ford Transit 150 will hold five passengers plus the driver, and was retrofitted to our specifications, said Chute. For example, a luggage carrier was added so clients would have a place to put their shopping. “That was a great addition,” she said.
Launched in 2012, Sou’West Nova Transit has provided hundreds of Shelburne County residents with thousands of drives, providing tens of thousands of dollars in fare reductions thanks to grants and generous donors, said Tweety. “Most days we are at over capacity,” she said. “Some days there’s a lull and a rest but most days we’re going in every direction at all times so having an extra vehicle” will allow Sou’West Nova Transit to “help more and more people access services they need to live healthy, connected lives.”
The purchase of the new van was also supported through the Nova Scotia Accessible Transportation Assistance Program, which provided a partial grant for vehicle. “For us it was 100 women who made the difference,” said Tweety. “You made it possible to be here a year later with that brand-new custom-built van,” she told the group. “We are thrilled with the tangible change this movement had made for us.”
The 100+ Women Who Care of Shelburne County movement began in March of 2017 as a simple, collaborative way to bring women together who care about local causes and to make a difference in the community.
“The women come from different walks of life and are united by the view that together, we have the ability to contribute to the growth of our communities in ways that we could never hope to achieve alone,” said Penny Smith, a member of the executive.
With the donation of $9,300 made to Our House Youth Wellness Centre on Dec. 5 for a food program that they want to keep going, close to $80,000 has been provided by 100+ Women Who Care of Shelburne County to very deserving Shelburne County charities, positively impacting the lives of residents who are served by these organizations, said Smith.
Smith said 100+ Women Who Care of Shelburne County would love for more women (individuals or teams) to join the group, which meets four times a year for one-hour. Three nominated local organizations each give a five-minute presentation about the work they are doing, members then cast their vote, and the winning organization receives $100 dollars from each individual or team. “This combined donation makes an immediate and direct impact in the community,” said Smith.
For further information about 100+ Women Who Care of Shelburne County visit www.100womenofshelburnecounty.weebly.com