In an effort to raise enough money to purchase a new ambulance and put it into service, Escalon Community Ambulance has launched a two-pronged effort: offering information while researching members and funding.
ECA Director Vanessa Herrero and Community Outreach Coordinator Leah Truelove are leading the campaign, hoping to secure additional members for the community organization.
Escalon Community Ambulance is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and depends on membership to help keep the doors open. Getting community buy-in today is more important than ever, Paramedics Herrero and Truelove said.
A letter sent to many community businesses highlights the need for additional funding, beyond membership fees.
“Typically, we collect less than 20% of what we bill because of uninsured write-downs and Medicare. Due to the coronavirus, our call volume has surprisingly declined, initially by 40% and has not fully recovered, ”the letter said. “The investment required is $ 100,000 to ensure a fully equipped emergency response vehicle… We thank you in advance for your contribution and support to our non-profit rescue work and our most recent one. effort to bring home a new ambulance. “
ECA’s goal is to purchase the Malley Ram ProMaster ambulance.
The letter suggests three ways for companies to support the ACE: by donating online at www.ecaems.com; by sending a check to PO Box 212, Escalon, CA 95320; or by donating a gift basket item or service that the ECA can use as a raffle prize.
They are planning a dessert drive-thru in the fall and have also hosted a previous dinner drive-thru.
Those who sign up for new memberships also have incentives, such as receiving a pair of tickets for the next Chamber of Commerce Wine / Brewery Walk.
The annual membership fee is $ 60 for a family plan or $ 50 for the senior family plan, individual plan, or senior individual plan. An information leaflet describes the benefits of membership which, with just one trip to the hospital by ambulance, essentially pays for itself.
The two paramedics said they were slowly covering the entire community, sending out batch donation letters, checking membership lists and contacting those who are not currently part of the ECA family.
This summer, they also put together a fun and educational Tuesday program for young people, covering topics such as water safety, bike safety and first aid. There were projects, activities, demonstrations and more, with the help of the Escalon police and firefighters.
Herrero said they were also able to cross-train with these two departments as they worked together to form a cohesive emergency response system for the city.
Herrero and Truelove both admit that increasing membership levels and raising enough for a new ambulance, as well as raising awareness of everything the ACE does, is not a short-term project.
“The goal is to hopefully increase what we can and see where we are by the end of the year,” Herrero explained. “COVID has really shaken the economy and our donations are coming slowly. “
Membership fees are “stable money that we can work with,” said Herrero, a guaranteed income source.
“We are very grateful for what we have received,” added Truelove of recent donations outside of membership fees.
Overall, the effort to raise awareness of the ECA among the community, especially young citizens, will only help the long-term stability of the organization, Herrero said.
“The majority of people wait to become members after they need us,” Truelove said, noting that they weren’t necessarily aware of the cost of transportation and / or services and weren’t sure how much membership would help reduce. this cost. Cost.
“The $ 60 per year family membership is a low annual cost, it’s such a shame that more people don’t jump on it,” Truelove admitted.
The membership number is currently around 750, Herrero said, which means about 90% of the community is not on that membership list.
“I would love to see that at 1,500 by the end of the year,” Truelove said.
“We feel like we have a good program here,” Herrero added. “It benefits both of us. “
The ECA enjoys a certain financial stability and the members obtain services at a very reduced cost.
Admitting that COVID has been difficult both mentally and physically for ECA staff members – like everyone else – they now feel comfortable getting back on track and going full speed with membership efforts and fundraising.
They also enjoyed organizing the summer ‘children’s camp’ and were able to connect with many young families through the effort.
“We wanted to be a lot more involved in the community,” noted Truelove.
The previous Spaghetti Drive Dinner fundraiser, as well as a ‘Round up the Change’ effort through local ACE materials helped kick off the fundraiser and they are now continuing with donation request letters and planning for the fall drive-through dessert.
Herrero said they also want to make membership easier. They therefore address several social media and offer an online registration program as well as Venmo payments in addition to the traditional paper membership application.
For more information, contact ECA at 209-838-1351 or visit www.ecaems.com.