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The HOPE Center receives vehicle donation to further its mission

The HOPE Center receives vehicle donation to further its mission

The donation was made possible by the Causeway CARes’ CauseWheels Vehicle Donation Program in partnership with Fulfill.

Toms River, NJ – HOPE on wheels? Yes, please! The HOPE Center in Toms River graciously accepted a vehicle donation last week that was made possible by Causeway CARes’ CauseWheels Vehicle Donation Program and funded through a grant from Fulfill.

“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.

“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.

Last year, through generous community support, The HOPE Center was able to assist 17,635 men, women and children. The nonprofit’s full service, client choice Food Pantry provided 265,333 lbs. of food for those seeking food security. “We also provided clients with more than $3,000 in gift cards, provided 34 households with transportation, and assisted with 27 gas, water and electric bills,” VanBezooijen added. “There is just such a tremendous need in our community.”

Looking to the future, The HOPE Center in Toms River will host its 1st Annual Golf Classic on Wednesday, May 18th at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Colts Neck. Registration, breakfast and putting contest will take place from 7:30am to 9am with a Shotgun Start at 9am (full scramble format). Post-round lunch, awards and prizes will be held from 2pm to 3:30pm. To learn more, visit www.houseofhopeocean.org/golf.

The HOPE Center is located at 253 Chestnut Street in Toms River. To learn more or for volunteer opportunities, visit houseofhopeocean.org.

About The HOPE Center
The HOPE Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization initiated by the Clergy Association of Greater Toms River. Within a place of hope and faith, the mission of The HOPE Center is to serve families in crisis with dignity and compassion, providing for their basic human needs, and striving to empower each person to achieve his or her greatest level of self-sufficiency. Current hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 3pm. To reach The HOPE Center, call 732-341-4447. After 4pm, for emergency services, please call 211.