On The Road
Last October, we started a project that would help our foundation with growth. We started fundraising to buy a Safety Van. We realized that we need a vehicle to transport gear and volunteers to the many different events. One of our biggest expenses in our budget is our fuel costs. Fuel is nearing $4.00 per gallon and we are starting to feel the pinch. Fortunately for us we were able to forecast an important tool that will help increase our efficiency in which will help save money. These savings will help us increase our outreach opportunities. The van was an important investment in our organization. We set out to fundraise to make this a reality.
Our board of directors started thinking of the best way to raise the funds necessary to make this project possible. Meanwhile I was researching the van trying to find one in stock that would work for what we needed for our organization. There were very few available, because of Covid, people were buying them up to turn them into campers. I thought I might have to fly to the east coast to buy one and drive it back out to Oregon. Ultimately we had some great sponsors step forward to help us make this all happen, we could not have done it without their belief in us and our mission.
I finally found a dealer near Portland that said that they could order the van we wanted directly from the factory. That seems like the best option for us. What was really cool was how I got to go through and pick out the best options for us. I spent the next few days configuring the van. It was a really fun thing to design our van. Once we settled on the features that we needed we ordered. That was on 2/13/21. The salesman said the wait would be 5-6 months. That wasn’t a problem we still had money to raise. At the time that we ordered we were nearing $40k of our goal in the bank. So it gave us time to raise the rest of the money to reach our goal.
The van will be a hub used to transport equipment all over and it was originally supposed to be here. As we all know Covid has made the delivery process take longer than was originally hoped. We were planning on doing a national van tour once it arrived with the help of Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. The original plan was to offer our Kids Firearm Safety 1 class at various store locations around the country. This would give us the opportunity to reach kids in different states to showcase the important work that we do, but to also show Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s how we can scale our program inside of their stores. Our route would have started here, in Oregon and would have ended in Detroit Michigan. Our intention was to finish at our friends, Rick Ectors free women’s training event. We were hoping to help support him and his group, all while teaching the kids of his community. Rick puts on a really cool event every year, where he offers free firearm training to the women of Detroit. His goal this year was to train over 4000 women for FREE!! We love that concept and wanted to be there to help, but also to reach the kids of his community. It would have been really fun, but unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards for this year.
On Friday 8/27/21 we headed to Portland to take delivery of the safety van. Upon arrival we were excited to inspect the van to make sure everything was the way that we ordered it. It was perfect! We were able to take possession and head south. I took back country roads just to relax and learn how it handled. It was quite nice. Once I made it home I’ve spent time planning how best to set it up for security and efficiency. I called in the help of a few friends to make sure it is built the way that we need it. Our goal is to drive this van until it can’t be driven anymore. All in the name of reaching more families and saving more children. We are poised for future growth and excited for what it all looks like. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the sponsors that helped make this dream a reality. Every penny made the difference in this project and we couldn’t have done it without all of your help. We will keep you all posted on our progress and we will be coming to a city near yours very soon. Until next time. Be safe!