An account has been opened at MBL in Minden for anyone who wishes to help MAR-C Industries in its quest to purchase newer vans.

Their fleet of seven is aging and repairs are becoming a burden on the nonprofit which puts those with mental challenges to work, allowing them to earn a paycheck.

Angelita Hudson, executive director of MAR-C, says their fleet goes as far as Homer and Summerfield to pick up workers every day.

“All of our fleet is getting old,” she said. “We use them to pick up our (workers) and take them home. Plus we use them around town during the work day. I have two or three that are constantly moving.”

Last week, two were in the shop for repairs, but as of Friday, only one was in the shop, Hudson says. The one currently in the shop is getting a transmission rebuild.

The newest van they own is a 2011 model, the oldest is from 1996.

“With this many vans and this much going on, something is going to happen pretty regularly,” she said. “The one we just got out was air conditioner issues. I expect them to need repairs, but they’re going to wear out eventually.”

The smallest van they have is a 6-7 passenger van, and the largest carries 14. They pick up about 45 people every day.

The workers at MAR-C Industries build and sell birdhouses, and provide services for recycling, gardening and lawn care.

Much of their money comes from the state, which is mixed in with what nursing homes get. With budget constraints, the amount of money MAR-C gets is slashed every year and depends more and more on contracts with other companies or private donations.

To make a contribution, donors may go to MBL Bank. MAR-C Industries is located at 1400 Commerce St. in Minden. For more information, call their office at 377-4774.