Vandals Disable United Way Van

Not once, but twice, vandals have hit the Salina Area United Way’s Community Action Mobile Outreach Van (CAMO). The vehicle is currently disabled and the agency needs funding to fix it.

According to the United Way, firs  thieves targeting the catalytic converter stole and damaged more than $1,200 worth of equipment and wiring on the CAMO vehicle. Second, this week someone bashed the front window causing more than $500 worth of damage.

During the summer, the Salina Area United Way CAMO Van is used for the eight-week summer reading program, Raising Active Wild Readers (RAWR). Last summer, volunteers and staff used the CAMO vehicle to distribute 2030 books to youth, partnering with USD 305.

Staff and volunteers rely on the CAMO vehicle to get books to eight summer meals sites during June and July in 2021. The parked vehicle was in the lot next to the non-profit, at 113 N. Seventh Street, Suite 201.

Inspection by a mechanic showed the CAMO vehicle was missing its catalytic converter, and the vandals cut electrical wires. Labor and parts amount to more than $1,200 to repair the wiring and replace the catalytic converter. Labor and a new front window will cost $500.

“It’s a real blow to our budget. Just think how many books we could purchase for the Raising Active Wild Readers, RAWR, program, with $1,700,” said Salina Area United Way Program Director Brenda Gutierrez.

A fund has been set up at the Salina Area United Way to help repair the Community Action Mobile Outreach, CAMO, Van. All donations to this fund will go toward paying for the vandalized vehicle. If you would like to help out, please send a check to Salina Area United Way, 113 N 7th, Suite 201. Please write CAMO Van in the memo line of your check donation. Questions, call 785-827-1312.