Businesses Donate Newly Refurbished Disaster-response Vehicle to Red Cross

SPRINGFIELD — Van Pool Transporta-tion of Wilbraham recently donated a 1996 GMC minibus to the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter.

The bus, recently retired from the Van Pool fleet, was given a makeover, complete with a new paint job and Red Cross logos, at the 1812 Paint & Body Shop in Florence. The paint, body work and signage for the vehicle makeover were donated by the Pease family of the 1812 Paint & Body Shop in memory of their son, Todd Pease, who passed away in 1991.

The Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter unveiled the newly refurbished addition to the chapter’s disaster fleet in March at the 1812 Paint & Body Shop. Kevin Hinkamper from Van Pool of Wilbraham, the Pease family, and Red Cross Disaster Services staff were present for the unveiling.

“We are so grateful to these two companies,” said Mary Nathan, director of Disaster Services. “Their generosity in donating the minibus and then transforming it into a Red Cross vehicle has enabled us to now have emergency-response vehicles staged in each of the three counties we serve.”

The Pioneer Valley Chapter’s service area spans from Connecticut to Vermont. There is a need to ensure adequate disaster-response vehicles to meet the needs of residents in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties. The new minibus will be used primarily in Hampshire County and will be used as a multi-purpose vehicle to transport volunteers to meeting and trainings and to haul cots, blankets, and other relief items and gear. It will be housed at the Northampton office.

All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

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