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The campaign to raise money to purchase a bus for the New Haven Center for Special Needs Adults did better than organizers expected during 2009.
Even though the campaign did not get underway until October, just over $34,000 was raised toward a goal of $80,000.
New Haven Director Collett Cross started the bus fund because the school has outgrown a 15-passenger van. The school currently has 21 clients enrolled from ages 22 to 55. Client families pay $20 a month.
New Haven is funded primarily by tax dollars from Union County, New Albany and the United Way as well as donations from individuals, churches civic clubs and businesses
The school wants to purchase a 28-passenger bus with a wheelchair lift to use to pick up clients at the their homes and take them on the many field trip and community activities that are organized by the school.
“Every time we go out somewhere and pick them up and take them home every day, we have to take at least three vehicles in order to transport everyone,” Collett said.
One of the things that has helped the school in the bus campaign was becoming a United Way of Northeast Mississippi agency. The school was allocated $5,000 from Union County United Way money and $1,500 from Pontotoc County United Way funds.
Nearly $11,000 was raised at a November event at the Magnolia Civic Center and the school also has received help from BNA Bank, the New Albany Rotary Club, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union County, and Metal Management.
The challenge to our community is to push the campaign over the $80,000 goal in 2010. We’re confident that can be done if we do our part by making a contribution this year.