The donation was made to The HOPE Center in Toms River and was funded in part through a grant from Fulfill.
MANAHAWKIN, NJ – Causeway CARes’ donates its 22nd vehicle through the CauseWheels Vehicle Donation Program. The HOPE Center in Toms River graciously accepted the donation, which was funded in part through a grant from Fulfill.
The CauseWheels Vehicle Donation Program began in 2020 following The Causeway Family of Dealership’s 50th Anniversary in 2019. The program’s goal is to help neighbors in need and positively impact Ocean County. Since its inception just a few short years ago, Causeway CARes has donated vehicles to various nonprofit and community organizations with an identified need.
“The timing could not have been more perfect,” said Amy VanBezooijen of The HOPE Center. “After a record-breaking two months in terms of new families coming to us for food security, this van will provide many new possibilities for us to pursue.”
Last month, The HOPE Center received 45 new clients at its food pantry and served 27,680 lbs. of food to 1,748 individuals – the nonprofit’s highest recorded number since its inception. This was an increase of 438 individuals from February.
The HOPE Center receives food deliveries from its partner agency, Fulfill on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Unfortunately, those deliveries are not enough to serve the need that comes through the nonprofit’s doors.
“This van will enable us to pick up food directly from Fulfill on an as needed basis to support our community members,” said VanBezooijen. “We will also have the ability to nurture relationships with other establishments like Wawa, Big Lots, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Starbucks, who have all expressed interest in donating food to The HOPE Center in the past. We just need to provide the transport, which up until now, we simply did not have the means to do.”
That’s where Causeway CARes and Fulfill came in.
VanBezooijen initially contacted Joe Stroffolino, Director of Advertising and Marketing for the Causeway Family of Dealerships to inquire about the availability of a van through the CauseWheels vehicle donation program. “Luckily, we had a van that was recently traded in,” said Stroffolino. “The only issue was the price of the van fell outside the CauseWheels donation parameters. As a Fulfill board member, I asked Amy at The HOPE Center if she had applied for one of Fulfill’s capacity grant, which she had. So, we simply increased the grant request to make up the deficit.”
“The key is always collaboration,” said David C. Wintrode, President of Causeway Family of Dealerships. “That’s the whole purpose of Causeway CARes – to give back to our nonprofit partners. It is our pleasure to partner with The HOPE Center and Fulfill so that they can continue to support even more community members in need.”
And, of course, The HOPE Center is overjoyed at the prospect of doing just that.
“We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our friends at Causeway CARes and Fulfill for making this donation possible,” said VanBezooijen of The HOPE Center. “It is with great compassion that we utilize this van to fulfill our mission by providing food security for those in our community who are struggling. It is just so important for them to know that they are not alone.”
David Shipman, Treasurer of The HOPE Center’s Board of Trustees, says The HOPE Center will be able to grow significantly with this vehicle. “We will not only be able to procure more food, but we will also be able to consider delivering food to homebound clients and open additional avenues of outreach,” he said. “This will allow us to have an even greater impact on feeding the community.”
Causeway CARes Is located at 375 Route 72 West in Manahawkin. To learn more, visit CausewayCARes.com.
About Causeway CARes
Causeway CARes’ mission is to make a direct and profound impact in and around Ocean County in the areas of education, food security and quality of life. Founded in 2004 and funded by the Wintrode Family Foundation, Inc., Causeway CARes strives to make the community a better place to live grow and thrive. To learn more, visit CausewayCARes.com.