When a car dealer in Edina, Minn., donated a new 2006 Jeep Wrangler to the local Christian school’s upcoming auction, the proceeds were intended to support Calvin Christian’s construction project.
But with the auction several months in the future, leaders at Walser Automotive and Calvin Christian began discussing a creative alternative. Rather than auction the Jeep to someone for personal use, why not “sell” it to a group of people who would put it to use for a worthy cause?
The school decided to partner with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. The agency’s Disaster Response Services (CRWRC-DRS) could put the four-wheel drive vehicle to excellent use.
The two organizations designed the Walser Jeep Initiative, appealing to donors to make a contribution that would support Christian education while putting the vehicle into action at disaster sites across North America.
The initiative also included an educational component. During Severe Weather Awareness Week, students learned about the work of DRS from CRWRC representative Randy Hedman, who showed pictures of the devastation left by hurricanes, tornados, floods, and wildfires and talked about how DRS volunteers help victims rebuild their homes and lives.
Volunteers are the main workforce of DRS. In 2007, more than 3,700 volunteers gave nearly 310,000 hours to assist victims of natural disasters in North America.