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Minivans needed in place of clunky gas hogs

First Baptist Church of Chassahowitzka sorely needs one or two seven-passenger minivans for its youth program.

"We currently have two 15-passenger vans that we drive on Sunday mornings and Thursday nights," youth leader Bill Shuert said. "Because of their size, they like a lot of gas."

Only one insurance company will insure that size van, Shuert said. And because the vans are old (1988 and 1990), and have more than 100,000 miles on them, they require expensive maintenance.

"We just put over $1,000 to put a new transmission in one of them," he said.

Shuert said he is concerned that because of their size, the vans could easily roll over on an incline.

"What we'd like to do is get two smaller vans," he said. "They would be safer, plus they're cheaper to maintain."

Shuert said a donation of a van or cash would be welcome.

"Anybody that feels like they'd like to help, we're just wide open to anything. We just want to be able to continue to minister to the kids," he said.

Youth committee member Ken Penrose wrote a passionate appeal for someone to donate a van to the church.

"We are reaching out to the children and youth in the community by providing a place for them to meet, have fun and learn about God and Christian values in our troubled world," Penrose wrote. "Your donation could provide you with a higher price for your vehicle than trading it in and would be a great blessing to you and to our small church at the same time."

Penrose said that someone donating a van may get more from a tax writeoff than as a trade-in.

"Vehicle donations up to $4,999 (in) value are a simple tax writeoff," Penrose said. "If you wish to donate a vehicle with a great value, the procedure is the same except the IRS requires that a professional appraiser provide the vehicle appraisal."

Finding your vehicle's value can be done online, and Penrose is willing to help with that process and explain the legal procedure.

"Remember, your donation will provide a blessing to you and benefit the future of our community," Penrose said.

If you have a running minivan and would like to donate it, call Penrose at 382-1668 or 476-6425 or Shuert at 621-6777.