Donations deliver cargo van

House of Hope cargo Van

From left: Rob Ranieri, House of Hope CEO; Eric Wesel, Hobe Sound Community Chest; donors Warren & Terry Skidmore; Diane Tomasik, House of Hope communications director; Janie Copes and Pam Alverson, Woman’s Club of Stuart; and Rachael Delekta, Fred Astaire Dance Studio.

Dancing, donations and a community service award combined to bring House of Hope a new cargo van that is delivering food across Martin County.

Support for the van has been growing for a year. Major funding sources include:

  • Donors who backed House of Hope’s Diane Tomasik in the Charity Masquerade Dance Party, a fund-raiser presented in October 2014 by the Woman’s Club of Stuart and Fred Astaire Dance Studio.

    Diane Tomasik thanks the guests at the Charity Masquerade Dance Party.

    Diane Tomasik thanks the guests at the Charity Masquerade Dance Party.

  • Warren and Terry Skidmore, residents of Mariner Sands who believe that House of Hope needs the right tools to carry out its mission. The Skidmores’ $4,000 donation boosted the total from the dance fund-raiser to more than $11,000.
  • The Hobe Sound Community Chest, which provided a $5,000 gift to House of Hope when honoring then-CEO Elizabeth Barbella with the Hobe Sound Community Service Award in February 2015.
  • An anonymous $5,000 donation in April 2015.

In July, House of Hope bought the van from Wallace Nissan, which provided a generous credit toward the purchase price and special service offers.

Since then, the van has been on the road doing pickups from local food drives and transferring food between House of Hope’s main service center in Stuart and its branches in Hobe Sound, Indiantown and Jensen Beach.

In September, the plain white van received a distinctive, branded makeover at Impact Designs in Stuart.

The cargo van supplements two other vehicles that have been donated to House of Hope. In 2013, Palm City Presbyterian Church funded a refrigerated truck for the transport of fresh and frozen food. Earlier this year, Jim and Ann Schuster donated a box truck for the pickup and transfer of donated furniture.

The cargo van is an important addition because it is a size that is manageable for volunteers to drive, and it is readily available for moving extra food or other needed items to House of Hope branches.