This story is provided as free content. If you?re interested in supporting community journalism, having full access to the website and getting the paper in your mailbox once a week, subscribe here?or call the office at 316-281-7899.
By Adam Strunk
Who hasn’t been there? ?You’re at the car dealership looking for a deal on a good used vehicle, and then they decide to give you a new one for free.
That’s the situation Matthew Schmidt, director of Health Ministries Clinic in Newton, found himself in at Kranz Family Inc.
The clinic, in the last year, provided medical, dental and behavioral services to 4,000 people and did 14,000 patient visits.
While that’s a large amount of people to serve, Schmidt?said he consistently hears?people have trouble getting to the clinic.
?Part of what we do is go through a needs assessment and analyze what’s missing in the community and where we can step up,? he said. ?We asked what are the barriers that keep people from seeking health care. A big one is transportation.?
While there is a taxi service in Newton, public transit is lacking.
?We needed a more consistent option to make sure people were able to access health-care services,? Schmidt?said.
So the clinic went to Kranz Family Inc. looking for a van.
?I came with them with a request on how they could work with us on a used vehicle, and they came back with an offer of a brand-new 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan,? he said.
?I was really overwhelmed really with their generosity.?
Such a van runs about $22,500 dollars.
Scott Kranz, who owns the car dealership with Del Morford, said the need of the organization motivated them to make the gift as well as the amount of people such a donation could help. He said they decided instead of giving a used van that would need to be replaced in a few years, they wanted to provide a new vehicle that would last.
?We hadn’t talked about it ’til they came in,? he said. ?We said if we’re going to do something, we’re going to do it right. Hopefully they will get 8 to 12 years of use out of this.?
Schmidt?said the donation goes to show the value and contribution local businesses bring to the Newton area.
?Local businesses support local agencies,” he said. “If I need something, I can’t go to an out-of-town biz. I can’t go to a dealership in Wichita and say ‘can you do this?’ They’d just look at me.?
He also added that such help and assistance?should be remembered.
?People in the community always like to go to local businesses when they need something,” he said. “The community needs to realize too if you want local businesses, you need to shop locally,? he said.
Schmidt?said that shopping local allows businesses to make contributions like the one Kranz made. It also helps keep sales tax dollars in the county that pay for services.
The clinic has hired two part-time drivers and has already begun providing services with its new van.