Mason Transit has awarded a 12-passenger van each to Gethsemane Ministries and Shelton Youth Connections as part of its Van Grant Program. 

Pastor Jason Simchen and Pastor Brian Hellenthal with Mike Ringgenberg, Mason Transit operations manager.
Susan Kirchoff, director of Shelton Youth Connections, with Mike Ringgenberg, Mason Transit operations manager.

The Van Grant Program awards surplus transit vans to local nonprofit organizations to solve transportation issues and benefit the Mason County community. The application process is competitive, and nonprofits are chosen based on demonstrated community benefit and the number of trips to be provided. Together the two organizations estimate their repurposed vans will provide more than 18,000 rides a year. 

“We are happy to support these deserving organizations and are pleased the vans will continue to serve Mason County residents,” said Mike Ringgenberg, operations manager. 

Gethsemane Ministries, based in Union, serves people with diverse needs from disabilities to homelessness and recovery. They will use their van to transport people to treatment centers, clean and sober housing, worksites and volunteer locations where transit services are not available.  

Shelton Youth Connections assists youth who are at risk, homeless or have disabilities. Their van will help young people with weekly shopping trips, general errands and health care appointments. 

More information on the Van Grant Program can be found at