Five months after an accident totalled one of the Good News at Noon vans, the ministry is making due with what it has.
Early during the summer the van was carrying children when it collided with a dump truck after failing to stop at a red light.
No one was seriously injured in the accident, but the ministry was left with only one vehicle.
Good News at Noon provides food, shelter and other necessities to the disadvantaged people in the community.
“Transportation is a big issue with the disadvantaged,” said the Rev. Edward Grant, director of Good News at Noon.
Many of the families the ministry serves do not have easy access to transportation.
Grant said they are making double trips using their only other van. They also have a utility vehicle that the ministry uses to pick up donations.
“We make two trips instead of one. We have to start a little earlier and finish up a little later but we have to take the children and the mothers home,” Grant said.
The vans are primarily used to transport the 75-100 children who visit the ministry after school every day.
Thomas Ramirez is the youth group coordinator at Good News at Noon. He said his main concern with the children is first to teach them about Jesus and second to help them learn the basis of life, which he said is discipline, love and compassion.
Ramirez said he required that the kids show him their report cards. When a student does well in school, Good News at Noon rewards them with new shoes or clothes and a special treat like ice cream. He said some of the children don’t get recognition at home based on their school performance.
“Kids are really having to put a lot of attention and a lot of time and school can be very stressful if the kids don’t have help,” Ramirez said.
One of the challenges these kids face is the pressure to join a gang or to use drugs. Ramirez said he is always teaching the children that these things lead to a dead end.
Good News at Noon also provides mothers and fathers with much-needed items like diapers and washing powder.
Grant said that though they have plenty of volunteers and people who are willing to help out, the economy has made it difficult for them to get a new van.
“When the lord sends us enough money then we’ll get one. We’re a faith based ministry so we trust in the Lord Jesus to send us everything that we need, and we’ll pray for it and in his time he always provides,” Grant said.