Prairie Five's Support Our Troops van will provide accessible transportation to veterans in the five-county region of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift and Yellow Medicine.
Prairie Five RIDES and the RTCC (Regional Transportation Coordinating Council) were looking for a way to better serve veterans in the 5 counties. The RTCC Program Directors searched for grants for veterans and found the Support Our Troops License Plate Fund grant opportunity through the Minnesota Department of Vetran Affairs (MDVA). Ranging from $1,000 to $100,000, these grants are focused on supporting and improving the lives of Veterans and their families. Prairie Five RIDES and the RTCC reached out the 5 county Veteran Service Officers and presented this opportunity to the rest of the Regional Transportation Coordinating Council. As a group, they came up with the idea of purchasing a wheelchair accessible van to offer free rides to veterans.
The Prairie Five Board moved forward by writing for the grant and collecting letters of support, ultimately being awarded the grant on May 25th, 2022. Over the past few months, the van has been purchased through Rollx Vans out of Savage, Minnesota and wrapped by DC Signs out of Montevideo, Minnesota. The van made its maiden voyage in August.
"We look forward to providing this amazing service to those who have served this great country and are optimistic we will be able to sustain this service for those who served," said Prairie Five Executive Director, Debra Larson.