An agency that exists to help those in need finds itself in a bit of need of its own tonight.
A blessing turned into a bummer... literally overnight.
The Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission battles poverty and assists the poor across a five county region of southeast Arkansas.
Getting around that territory became a little more difficult last week.
The week started out incredibly for the non-profit agency as several vehicles were donated, including a like-new Ford Explorer with about 20,000 miles on it.
A rare...and needed...gift.
"We got the vehicle on a Tuesday," recalls David Knight, Executive Director of the PBJCEOC. "Got it parked on the lot about three o'clock. Got back the next morning at eight o'clock to start the day and the wheels were gone."
"All four tires?"
"All four tires," says Knight. "Sittin' on blocks."
The vehicle will be used to help visit homes across the region and conduct home energy efficiency audits.
Once problems are identified weatherization steps can help reduce a homeowner's energy bills, which will increase their disposable income.
but now money that would have and could have been used to help citizens may have to be used to install security cameras, build a fence or buy four new tires.
"You go from such a high of having the ability to reach more people and do better things and do more services to now you have an expense," says Knight. "If you've got situations and you need assistance and there are things that we can help you do, don't hesitate to come by. But just coming by and taking supplies and materials that can affect how we're able to assist others...is not the way to go about it."
So...while police are searching for a thief, the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Economic Opportunities Commission is searching for the funds necessary to get this donated ride up and running.
Air date: June 17th, 2013