Posted on June, 29 2021

Six area nonprofit organizations received retired RideShare vans through DART’s van donation program on Monday, June 28. The 2021 recipients are ArtForce Iowa, Bhutanese Community in Iowa, Shalom Covenant Church, Wilkie House, Young Women’s Resource Center and the  Youth Justice Initiative.

Beginning in 2014, the DART Board of Commissioners instructed DART to distribute retired vans in central Iowa to help meet transportation needs in the community. The vans used for this donation program each year are set to be retired from DART’s fleet.

“The van donation program is a unique way DART is able to give back to the community by supporting the work of our local nonprofits,” explains Russ Trimble, Chair of the DART Board of Commissioners. “This program enhances the positive impact of local nonprofit organizations by helping them improve access to transportation beyond DART’s transit network.”

About the Recipients

ArtForce Iowa is an organization with a mission of transforming youth in need through art. Founded in 2012, all of its programs are based on three models: ArtForce, WorkForce and LifeForce. This model incorporates creative self-expression, work skills development and advocacy in a safe and supportive community.

Bhutanese Community of Iowa is a non-profit welfare organization founded in 2011 to serve the more than 800 Bhutanese community members living in Iowa. BCI provide services to promote self-sufficiency, cultural awareness, smooth integration into the mainstream culture.

Shalom Covenant Church was established in 2010 to bring together various refugee communities and unite them in worship in their native languages. Since then Shalom has helped provide services to refugees to navigate daily life and help individuals integrate through offering educational opportunities such as ESL classes and educational assistance to refugee youth who often have challenges with transportation as their parents work varied hours.

Wilkie House is a historically black nonprofit youth development center created in 1917, specifically to help African American families in Des Moines and focuses on providing evidence-based programming focusing on academics, social skill building, health and recreational activities through after school support, summer programing and mentorships.

Young Women’s Resource Center is an agency that believes every girl deserves a life of possibilities and has a mission of empowering participants to be strong, self-confident and resilient. Founded in 1978, YWRC works towards its mission through various empowerment programs, including a young mom’s program and a counseling and therapy program. All services are provided at no cost to the participants to reduce barriers to access.

Youth Justice Initiative is a West Des Moines based organization that provides services for youth ages 4-19 who are at risk and for those who have offended, many of which come from low-income, refugee, immigrant and/or minority families. Their mission is to develop and sustain restorative processes in our community to promote healing, accountability and provide support. 

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