We all know how expensive gas can be- but imagine fueling up a fleet of vehicles.
Marion County Services for the Developmentally Disabled has seven vehicles that drive hundreds of miles each week.
Stephanie Currat has done a lot of activities in her 18 years with the Marion County Services for the Developmentally Disabled.
Unable to drive herself, Currat relies on the organization for the majority of her transportation.
"It gets you where you need to be and where you want to be," she said.
MCSDD transports dozens of people each day, some as far as Columbia and St. Louis. Keeping the fleet running is expensive.
"We can spend 15 or 20 thousand dollars a year on just the repairs. Fuel about the same," said Executive Director Cathy Arrowsmith. She added some vehicles spend more time in the shop than on the road. Because of this she said her organization needs annual grants to run, fix and replace vehicles.
"It's hard to survive unless you have something like that to assist because obviously the need is out there for those individuals to have that transportation," said Arrowsmith.
The Missouri Department of Transportation grant provides funds to help replace worn out vehicles, while the Missouri Elderly and Handicapped transportation program covers everyday operation expenses.
"We go through a lot of vehicles, a lot of wear and tear because we are on the road a lot," Arrowsmith said.
Because of the people MCSDD helps, Currat hopes the funding comes through again.
"They deserve it. So if they need help getting vehicles, I will back them up," she said.
Arrowsmith said MCSDD will hear about the grants by early summer. She said some funding has been reduced in the last few years, and can take a while to come through when it is approved.
To make up for the difference, the organization is planning its first Buddy Walk for June. If you'd like to participate in the walk, you can email MCSDD at email@example.com or call Kyle Steinmann at (573) 248-1077 ext. 109.
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