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Local nonprofit that feeds kids gets broken-down transport van repaired

CHARLOTTE — Gwen Johnson has been serving the west Charlotte community longer than she can track, and now she is getting a prayer answered.

[ALSO READ: Local restaurant teams up with nonprofit to provide hot meals to families in need]

Johnson serves hot meals in the Kid’s Café through the nonprofit, the Parkview Community Foundation, and often takes on the role of a bus driver.

“A lot of kids come here and eat, and they don’t have a ride home, because they don’t live in this area,” she said. “I’ll take them home.”

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But the 15-passenger van Johnson has been using for years recently stopped working. Johnson said she was transporting children in the Ballantyne area when it broke down.

“Well, we just call her Betsy,” Johnson said. “And I took it to two different places, and they said the transmission’s gone.”

She said that federal funding helps to keep her nonprofit program afloat, but upkeep on the van has been through fundraising.

“Children are my heart,” Johnson said. “They come here if they need things that they know parents are not going to do right then. Or if the parents are working and can’t do it, they know I’ll make myself available to help them.”

After seeing the Channel 9 report, the Scott Clark Auto Group offered up repairs for free.

“We’re grateful for this opportunity and for this new relationship,” said Rod Goodall, director of community engagement for Scott Clark Auto Group.

Johnson got the keys Monday. She said children from her program also drew pictures for the auto team in appreciation.

“There is nice people around. You just have to know how to approach them,” she said.

Johnson also said Channel 9 viewers have generously donated to her cause.

For those looking to help, Johnson’s contact information is below:

  • Parkview Community Foundation, Inc.
  • 1105 Pryor Street, Charlotte, NC 28208
  • 704-391-8853
  • Email: parkviewcfi@gmail.com

(Watch the video below: Nonprofit helps provide homes for foster children by easing the process)