Janice Knadler, board president of the Enrichment Centers for Huron County, had the answer: Don Tester Ford-Lincoln Inc. The car dealership is allowing the Norwalk branch of the Enrichment Centers to borrow a 2013 Ford Escape for the week.
“Thank you, Don Tester Ford for coming to our rescue this morning and loaning us this vehicle for a home-delivered meal route this week. This vehicle will help provide over 300 warm meals that enrichment services for Huron County serves county-wide daily,” activities director Lisa Gleisner said.
On Wednesday morning, a vehicle that had clocked more than 250,000 miles was in the shop for repairs. That’s when the the Enrichment Centers received the bad news.
“They said the (entire) frame is broken and it needed to go bye-bye,” Gleisner said. “It definitely was our oldest truck. … Thank God it wasn’t on the road with someone driving it.”
With warm meals needing to be delivered to four routes in Norwalk, some quick decisions were necessary. Gleisner said Knadler went to Don Tester Ford-Lincoln and came back in about 30 minutes with great news — and the Ford Escape.
“They said we can use it the rest of the week,” Gleisner added. “(She was) literally back in a half-hour.”
Dealership owner Scott Tester said the decision to allow the center to borrow the vehicle was easy and the right thing to do.
“They needed a way to help deliver the food to the elderly,” he said. “We said we can help. … That’s what we’re here for, is to help the community. It’s what we have to do to help the community.”
In Norwalk, the Enrichment Centers for Huron County deliver meals to homes five times a week, Monday through Friday, on its four routes. Employees deliver the food.
“We are grateful for the use of this vehicle and we hope that we can keep it,” executive director Roxanne Sandles said.
Gleisner was enthusiastic in her appreciation for Tester and his dealership for stepping up and helping the Enrichment Center “continue our meal services without an interruption to our seniors.”
“Thanks again, Don Tester Ford,” she added. “(Our) gratitude comes by not complaining about troubles, such as the loss of our meal delivery vehicle, but by offering sincere appreciation for the troubles we don’t have, thanks to Don Tester Ford.”