Local non-profit thankful for van donation after theft

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local non-profit suffered a major loss a few months ago. One of their vans used to transport their dozens of members was suddenly stolen from their lot.

Now, they have a lot to be thankful for, thanks to a huge donation.

Cornucopia Adult and Family Services has been serving the Albuquerque area for decades.

“In the morning we go out and we pick up over 50 clients, every morning,” Michelle Bishop-Couch, CEO of Cornucopia Adult and Family Services said.

Their clients are adults with developmental disabilities and the elderly.

“And we want to integrate them in the community because we think about, ‘I gotta pay my light bill, I have to go grocery shopping’ and they would give anything if that was their daily task,” Bishop-Couch said.

Everyday they rely on their five vans to pick up their clients, bring them back for breakfast and then they load up and go out into the community for movies, fishing, and volunteer work.

At the end of the day they use the vans to get everybody home again.

But, three months ago their van seemed to vanish and it was not the first time it had happened.

“It was just devastating, just devastating all of us cried, we had worked so hard to get it fixed and everybody settled so we could help the families and continue our mission,” Bishop-Couch said.

It was a hard hit. Staff even had to use their own cars to help drive the clients.

Now, three months later things will be a lot easier moving forward.

“It was a travesty but it had a great ending and for that I’m just super grateful,” she said.

United Healthcare and the Anderson Foundation came together to buy Cornucopia a new used van.

“It’s amazing, once we can give back to the community is makes us feel like we’re putting all our efforts and everything to being able to provide help in the community,” Reyna Zavala, United Healthcare said.

A new van would have cost more than $50,000. The donated, used van is worth about $17,000.

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