Canal Winchester Human Services hit the road last week after accepting a much-needed donation of a new cargo van from a local dealership.

Canal Winchester Human Services hit the road last week after accepting a much-needed donation of a new cargo van from a local dealership.

Human Services Administrator Penny Miller approached Jeff Wyler Chevrolet for a donation earlier in the year. She said she wasn't expecting to receive a vehicle, but nevertheless was determined to ask for one and to educate the Wylers about the programs Human Services undertakes.

"Penny came in here and laid out their program and how helpful the van would be," Jeff Wyler said. "We have the Wyler Family Foundation, which hasn't ever given away a vehicle before, but she's very persuasive, so we agreed."

The Wyler Family Foundation is four years old, he said, and has made well over $100,000 in donations so far to various Ohio charities, including funding cancer research and providing a Springfield hospital with golf carts to transport patients and visitors around the facility.

It is also a sponsor of Canal Winchester's Labor Day Festival.

Wyler purchased the Bob McDorman Chevrolet dealership last August and has since submitted plans to remodel and expand.

"We want to be close to the Canal Winchester and Columbus communities, and so this donation is part of doing that," he said. "We've grown our business through being good community members and will continue that."

About 25 people came out for the handing over of the keys on Aug. 20 at the dealership, including Canal Winchester City Councilman John Bender.

"This is a very generous gift and is really terrific," Bender said. "We hope that other people will take a look at this generosity toward this deserving cause when they consider giving to the community as well."

Miller didn't waste any time putting the van to use.

"As soon as we have the keys, we're heading over to pick up 100 book bags full of supplies for Tools For Schools that we'll distribute to needy kids headed back to school," Miller said. "On Wednesday, we'll go for a fresh vegetable food pick-up at Mid-Ohio FoodBank and in three weeks, our holiday adopt-a-family program starts back up and we'll make deliveries for that."

According to Miller, in the past, these tasks were accomplished by "begging, borrowing and stealing" transportation from volunteers.

"So this van is a huge bonus for us," she said. "Providing our programs to those in need became a whole lot easier."