ECHO receives a new truck
That’s good because the gift will be used to haul food and toys for the holiday along with whatever else ECHO needs to haul year around.
The 2007 Chevrolet Express Cutaway was delivered in late July and already has 2,700 miles on it.
Purchase of the $32,000 truck was made possible through a $29,000 donation from an anonymous giver, who is a longtime supporter of ECHO, a nonprofit, faith-sponsored charity that serves low-income people in the Janesville area.
Without the contribution, there’s “no way” ECHO could have afforded the much-needed truck, said Karen Lisser, executive director.
The new truck replaces a 1986 Isuzu, donated to ECHO by Second Harvest in November of 2002.
“You never knew if it was going to start,” said Scott Petranek, an ECHO staff member.
“And there was no heat in the truck, Jacobson said.
But Lisser said “the truck has played a valuable role’’ for ECHO. Before its arrival, the charity had only an enclosed trailer for hauling donations.
Driving the new truck “is like going from a bicycle to a Cadillac,” Jacobson said.
It just makes ECHO’s overall operations more efficient, Petranek said.
Among truck options are a full-height walk-through cab-access door, an aluminum slider ramp and an 8-foot wide rear-door that allows pallet loading.
“It used to take four to five (people) to load and unload 300 cases. Now it takes one person and less time,” Jacobson said.
When ECHO began shopping for a truck, staff looked at used vehicles. But the donor insisted on a new truck with a warranty through 2012, Lisser said.
And because of the General Motors presence in Janesville, Lisser insisted on buying a GM product through the local Chevrolet dealership—Fagan. ECHO worked with Mark Saunders at Fagan and John Pearse, plant controller at GM in Janesville, who got the truck built to ECHO’s specifications with a discount of nearly $4,000.
“We had it less than two weeks after putting the order in,” Jacobson said.
The truck allows ECHO to get donations it otherwise wouldn’t get, Lisser said.
And that, she said, helps ECHO save money on food it otherwise would have to buy.