Safe and reliable transportation is oftentimes a basic, but significant barrier for low-income communities. Having access to transportation is key to opportunities that provide essential resources which promote individual enrichment, economic mobility, and personal wellbeing.

Banyan is home to three vehicles that help us to serve the community. These vans enable our youth and families to attend programs and summer camps, our staff to pick up event supplies, and our neighbors to take part in community events. Our vans have also served as vital assets for ensuring our youth make it to school on time and that they make it home safe when bus transportation is canceled by the schools.

Recently, the two 15-passenger Banyan vans (Bell & Bud) passed their 16th birthday and were nearing 100,000 miles of work. They were also showing their age in broken seatbelts, damaged bumpers, and a failing drivetrain. It became clear that these vehicles needed to be retired.

We are so grateful to the K.A.H.R. Foundation’s willingness to step into this need and provide Banyan with two new vehicles! Their $110,000 gift allowed us to purchase a 12-passenger 2020 Ford Transit & a 15-passenger 2019 Ford Transit along with completing eye-catching branding on the vehicles. Among the upgrades promoting safer and more reliable access is an electronic step feature that allows older adults in our neighborhood to more easily enter and exit the vehicles.

These new vehicles are already loved and the youth will again be given the special privilege of naming them. Banyan youth are so excited to take these new rides up to summer camp!

Update July 17, 2023

The new van names, as selected by the Banyan youth, are Picachu and Sunny! And the remaining minivan has also been renamed Chicken Nugget.