Bailey Coach put the “giving” in Thanksgiving this year when the Pennsylvania operator gave away a 47-passenger bus to a local nonprofit.
Working with local TV news station WPMT FOX43, the motorcoach operator created a contest allowing people to vote for which nonprofit — out of three — should receive the bus.
FOX43 featured five stories, one announcing the contest and a story on each of the nonprofits, ending with a story announcing the winner right before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The 2005 MCI D model 47 passenger coach looks and drives like it’s brand new, said President John Bailey, explaining that it had been used to carry students and sports teams to events along the East Coast.
“It shifts nice, drives nice, it handles nice. You look at this interior. For 550,000 miles, it looks like it’s brand new in the front,” he said.
The contest gave the company an opportunity to highlight its longtime connection and commitment to the local community it has served for decades.
“It’s just part of our family mission to give back to the nonprofit community and give back to the community in general,” Bailey said. “We wouldn’t be here and be successful if it weren’t for the community supporting the Bailey family. It’s good knowing that it is going to a nonprofit that can really change lives, and that’s what it’s all about, changing lives.”
And the winner is …
The contest drew thousands of votes, with Servants Inc. winning the majority. Servants is a locally based nonprofit founded by York, Pennsylvania, businessman Trent Davis. The bus will be used to take volunteers to disaster areas to help get those communities back on their feet.
The nonprofit connects community volunteers from churches and businesses with opportunities to come alongside people who need help. Locally, the organization’s volunteers provide home repair and maintenance work for older adults and people with disabilities who can’t afford the repairs on their own.
“This bus actually reminds me a lot of our volunteers, who had a first career and then, when they retired, they decided to give back to the community and volunteer,” Davis said. “And so, this bus is going to be used for us to help go into disaster areas, especially like Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, where they experienced hurricanes, and we’ll be able to take a lot of volunteers to help in those areas.”
Before the bus, the group had to spend money for flights or to rent passenger vans to take volunteers to communities in need.
Bailey says the inspiration for the giveaway came after a disappointing offer for the motorcoach he was trying to trade for a new one.
“The dealer gave me such a low price I stated I will give it away first. That started the wheels turning and I thought let’s do it,” Bailey said.
He reached out to his vendors to help make the free bus an even better deal for the winner.
Along with the bus, the nonprofit received $15,000 in additional perks, including $5,000 in parts from NFI Parts, two years of Electronic Logging Device (ELD) service, an onboard camera system and Wi-Fi from Saucon Technologies, and their logo and graphic wrapped in the bus from Imagineered Signs.
Bailey Coach also pledged to help out with maintenance and light repairs at its garage, said Vice President Courtney Bailey.
“The local community has always given back to the Bailey Family of Companies, and we wanted to do our part and give back to the community that’s gotten us to where we are today,” she said.