United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties' 2018 Community Impact Grant awarded The Arc of the Emerald Coast $50,000 for its transportation program.

United Way's Board of Directors, members of The Arc's Board of Directors and The Arc beneficiaries gathered Thursday, Jan. 17 2019 to celebrate the arrival of a new van. The van can seat 10 and is handicapped accessible with a wheelchair lift and two wheelchair spaces.

The van replaces one of the declining vehicles in The Arc’s 16-vehicle fleet. It was used the day it arrived to carry five adults with intellectual disabilities who live in a new six-person group home in Crestview.

The van serves as the sole transportation for The Arc clients, with daily rides to and from The Arc’s Fort Walton Beach Adult Day Training Facility, and all day-to-day transportation needs, outings and hurricane evacuations.

“We are tremendously proud of the volunteer panels that evaluated The Arc’s application and United Way's Board of Directors who ultimately approved the grant that funded this vehicle," said Rick Owen, CEO of the United Way. "The Arc of the Emerald Coast is a valued United Way of Okaloosa and Walton Counties community partner, and we appreciate the services this organization provides to our community.”