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A new ride in town

Mountain Electric Director of Member Services, Sally Snyder and Operation Pocket Change Board Member Robert Wilson, joined by County Purchasing Agent Dustin Shearin along with Tom Reece, Terry Hodge, Dennis Henson, and Senior Center Director Kathy Motsinger for a photo after the Center received a new van to be added to its fleet. Photo Submitted.

By Tamas Mondovics

The Johnson County Senior Center is pleased to announce that a new 15 passenger van has been added to their transportation fleet. The new addition was made possible through the generosity of the Mountain Electric Cooperative Operation Pocket Change, private donations, and previously held fundraisers. According to Johnson County Senior Center officials, the new van will replace the oldest of three vehicles currently used by the Senior Center.

“This van will be used along with the other two vans of the senior center to continue to serve senior adults throughout Johnson County during the pandemic,” said Senior Center Director Kathy Motsinger.

Motsinger added that since March 2020, more than 31,000 meals had been distributed to seniors in Johnson County, with more than two-thirds being delivered to the homes of seniors who have been sheltering at home or considered in dire need.

“This service to senior members would not have been able to take place without the vans,” she said. “Meals are delivered to many areas of the county from Trade to Butler with plans to include Shady Valley in the future to relieve volunteers from driving the farthest distance. The new van will also be used after the pandemic to assist in transporting senior adults to the Center to take part in local activities and be used to take out of town trips for shopping and cultural, pleasure, and educational activities.

Operation Pocket Change is a voluntary round-up program that assists worthy local organizations and fellow members who have fallen on hard times. Participating co-op members volunteer to round up their monthly electric bills to the next whole dollar amount.The extra “pocket” change then flows into a special fund managed by a board of volunteer members who oversee grants to groups, organizations, or charities that are generally used to assist charitable organizations designed to benefit the Mountain Electric Cooperative service area individuals in educational and humanitarian needs. Since that time, the program was launched in June 2002 and has given community groups and people in need more than $2.6 million.

Operation Pocket Change has long been a supporter of the Johnson County Senior Center. In the past, the organization supported the senior Center through funding that allowed the Center to purchase new kitchen equipment, new furniture for sitting areas.