"Why Buy New When Used Will Do?"
STRIDE Assistance for the Disabled
Registered Charitable Business No. 11920 0632 RR000I



Press Release- Jan 13th, 2011

I am contacting you in the hopes that through whatever publicity you may be able to provide, you can help STRIDE Assistance for the Disabled, Inc. recover our  2007 GMC Savana 2500 Cargo Van.  Description – white;  license number 722 5YT; outline of  “V11″ on the driver’s side of the vehicle near the side mirror; a wheelchair lift accessible through the 60/40 right side door; 2 marks on right and 2 marks on left of roof edging where roof rack had been attached (was removed).

This vehicle  was stolen from its parked location behind 43 Grenfell Crescent, (in the Grenfell Sector of the Merivale Industrial Park) sometime between 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 and the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011.   Since it is only used on Thursdays, its absence was not noticed until yesterday (Jan.13, 2011) when one of our volunteer drivers went out to get it ready for the day’s run.  

Anyone seeing this vehicle or having information about it should report it to the Ottawa Police.

The stolen vehicle is essential to our operation and its loss is a devastating blow for us.  Without it we are unable to pick up or deliver equipment to our clients, many of whom are unable to come to our Depot in person.

In September, 2010, we were very fortunate to have received a  grant of $15,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to purchase the 2007 vehicle and compared to its predecessor,  a 1993 Ford E150 Club Wagon (which was at the end of its days as a dependable vehicle and encountering increasing maintenance  expenditures),  it is “new” and a real treasure as it has air conditioning for the summer and is warm in the winter, not to mention being more economical on fuel consumption.

As a completely volunteer staffed, registered, non-profit charitable organization, we have operated the project, STRIDE – Wheelchairs Plus – Recycling Depot at 43 Grenfell Crescent, Unit 6,  for over 17 years.  Used health care equipment such as power and manual wheelchairs, electric scooters, walkers, bath aids, hospital beds, etc. are donated to us and go through a thorough process of cleaning and refurbishment after which they are made available at very reasonable cost to individuals who cannot afford the expense of new equipment or who fall through the cracks of other programs.  The existence of our program helps other institutions, municipal governments, service clubs, and the taxpayers save money and keeps good equipment out of land-fill sites.  It has been the only program of its kind in the province of Ontario.   But we have also reached beyond the borders of Canada through other organizations /individuals to provide equipment to a number of countries including Haiti, Jamaica, Angola, Russia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Nicaragua and Sri Lanka, to name some.  

In essence, the theft of this vehicle has harmed two charities.  While our insurance will cover the loss of the vehicle and some of its contents such as tools, other additional expenses we expect to incur will be a financial burden hard to bear.

Thank you for any help you can be to get this information to the public who can be on the look out for our van.

Mary R. McDowell
President, STRIDE Assistance for the Disabled, Inc.