Community rallies to give mother and daughter new wheelchair-accessible van
OAKLAND, Calif. - Kathleen Eastland, and her 12-year-old daughter April had been having a hard time getting April to school in a van that didn’t fit her needs, ever since their wheelchair-accessible van was destroyed in a collision with an uninsured driver.
“This past 7 months have been a lot of struggle,” April said.
That all changed when a local businessman saw a report about their situation from KTVU in San Francisco and decided to help. Lou Hanhan owns a body shop, and was planning to sell a 2006 Toyota van he had at the shop, when he heard about Kathleen and April’s story and decided he would equip it with a ramp and donate it to them instead.
“As soon as I saw it, I just knew right away,” he told Fox 2. “There wasn’t nothing to think about.”
And Lou even reached out to other business owners to make the new van extra special, adding extras like a DVD player and monitor, which April is thrilled to try out.
“It’s just so much fun,” she said. “And I feel like it would be good on road trips of course.”
Kathleen says she’s still making payments on their old van, but thanks to a GoFundMe, that’s now taken care of too. Kathleen can focus on being a mother and taking care of her children, not on finding transportation.
“I just want to say thank you, for everyone’s help,” she said, fighting back tears. “It’s really touched my heart. Thank you.”