Sens Foundation, CARSTAR help get two local groups mobile

Ottawa Community Housing and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa both have a new set of wheels.

Each received a refurbished minivan Friday courtesy of CARSTAR Collision and Glass and the Ottawa Senators Foundation.

"Transportation is often a huge barrier for organizations like the Boys and Girls Club and Ottawa Community Housing, so to be able to donate these vans through CARSTAR to these organizations to make sure that people can get to the places they need to, whether they're medical appointments, getting kids into social recreation opportunities is really important to us," said Sens Foundation president Danielle Robinson.

Wendy Mitchell, the executive director of the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation said the new minivan will be a big help.

"It'll definitely be used on a regular basis," she said. "We have a really strong volunteer program where people are out in the communities volunteering all the time. The current vehicle that we're using is someone's personal vehicle, which looks like a clown car on a regular basis. We'll be able to bring equipment and supplies out to those communities to help them with different projects that are going on."

The Boys and Girls Club will use their van to ferry kids around.

"A lot of the kids who come to the Boys and Girls Club, come to us because they're located in at risk neighbourhoods and they probably don't have the financial resources to be able to have transportation, so for us to be able to provide that transportation and take them different places that they wouldn't otherwise be able to go is so important to our programming," said Colleen Mooney, the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.

The vehicles have low mileage and were refurbished by CARSTAR as part of the CARSTAR Community Power Play initiative, a partnership with the Sens Foundation aimed at giving back to the community.

"We wanted to do something for the community to give back," said Collin Welsh, the regional development manager with CARSTAR Automotive. "The Senators Foundation has been an excellent partner to assist us in putting together the vans for people with needs... and [the vans] are going to go to great use."

A third minivan will be used by the Sens Foundation.

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