Vroom vroom, the New Paltz Youth Program is on the move.
The New Paltz Youth Program (NPYP) recently acquired a brand new 15-passenger Ford Transit van, after years of fundraising and various donations, for the purpose of transporting youth on different group excursions.
“Field trips are big for us,” said Jim Tinger, director of the NPYP. “Everything that we do requires transportation, and that’s always been an obstacle for us.”
The NPYP is a community resource that provides opportunities in recreational, social and educational capacities, from tutoring at the middle school to their drop-in center at 220 Main St. Their goal is to provide as many free or affordable activities for youth as possible.
“The purpose of going on trips is to provide new experiences for the youth of New Paltz,” said Assistant Director Andy Vlad. “On any given week, we can now take youth to a bunch of different places in the Hudson Valley without taking our personal vehicles.”
For the last several years, the NPYP took part in countless fundraisers and activities in order to raise the money needed for a good transportation vehicle, other than their own cars. They have two vending machines that helped collect money; one located on the premises at 220 Main St. and one by Southside apartments. They also held car washes, yard sales and many more events to rack up the funds.
On top of the fundraising, they received hundreds of donations. One anonymous donor contributed $10,000 to their fund, securing the purchase.
“They wanted to keep their name out of it so it’s just someone who wanted to give back to the community,” Vlad said. “Without the $10,000, I don’t think we’d be where we are right now.”
The NPYP takes children all around New Paltz and the surrounding areas, which is why the van was such a necessity. Every Monday they go to the Mohonk Mountain House, and every Friday they try to take a field trip as well. They go to places such as Bounce, Wood N’ Wheel and even Six Flags. They also bring them to activities like apple-picking and drive-in movies.
“It’s really fun here. You can hang out with your friends and eat food,” said 17-year-old Maya Brendli, a youth who attends the center. “But also if you’re having a bad day, you can come here and talk to people and they can help you out and make you feel better. It’s a very open place that’s very loving.”