Donations for truck allow Sally Ann to haul emergency services trailer

Chilliwack Salvation Army can now tow its emergency disaster services trailer thanks to donations to purchase a pickup truck

Jason Arnold (second from right) of Mertin GM shows off some of the features of a 2016 Chevy Silverado to representatives from the Salvation Army (from left) Tim Bohr

Thanks to tens of thousands of dollars in donations, Chilliwack Salvation Army can now tow its emergency disaster services trailer anywhere it wants.

Mertin GM handed the keys over to the Salvation Army for a brand-new 2016 Chevy Silverado pickup truck on Tuesday. The vehicle purchase was made possible thanks to generous donations from Mertin GM, Chilliwack and Sardis Kiwanis Clubs, anonymous donors, other funders, and the Sally Ann divisional headquarters.

Earlier this year, an anonymous donor purchased a $100,000 28-foot kitchen trailer (pictured below) and gave it to Chilliwack Salvation Army. It used to be a commercial food truck and came complete with a grill, deep fryer, two ovens, coolers, a freezer, and two service windows.

A mobile kitchen was something they’d dreamed of for years, says community ministries director Tim Bohr. Now they were able to respond to any emergency or disaster with an extremely robust meal preparation capacity.

It was an amazing donation.

“You talk about a gift, this is huge,” says Bohr.

But, they had no way of towing the trailer… until this week, that is.

Had they had the pickup truck sooner, they would have been asked to take the trailer up to Fort McMurray during the wildfires in the spring, adds Bohr.

The emergency disaster services trailer also doubles as a community response unit.

The Salvation Army has already used it for a handful of catering contracts at schools and Party in the Park, and for those events, they were able to haul it thanks to a local firefighter with a pickup truck. That was a temporary solution, and now they have a permanent one.

The new one-ton Silverado truck holds six people, so they can haul the whole kitchen crew and the trailer all in one go. And thanks to Cottonwood RV for donating the trailer hitch, Chilliwack Salvation Army now has everything it needs to respond to an emergency.

jenna.hauck@theprogress.comtwitter.com/PhotoJennalism

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