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A new purpose for the pony

August 4, 2020

WHEELING, W.Va. – What happens when fleet vehicles get retired? Sometimes they get a whole new purpose. And that purpose can change lives.

Street MOMs (Making Others Matter) is a small non-profit in Wheeling with a mission as unique as the two women who keep it running. Every day of the year, cousins Susan Brossman and Lynn Kettler venture out to take care of the homeless population. They take a daily census and assessment of needs of the people they affectionately refer to as “friends.”

They arrived at AEP's Wheeling Service Center to pick up their donated new-to-them ride in an old truck that did not have working seats belts, air conditioning or a front bumper. But it was all they had to transport supplies. When they saw the van in the parking lot, they were in disbelief.

“This isn’t the van, is it?” Kettler asked. “It can’t be. This is overwhelming.”

Brossman climbed into the back. She noticed the shelves and immediately began planning. “We can put men’s clothing here, women’s items on this shelf, and oh, look at this part!”

They stood there for nearly 20 minutes talking about all the ways this van would change how they serve their friends.  

“One of our friends needs a tent today. Another one needs some new socks," Brossman said.

The company donated a van formerly used to deliver interoffice and US mail to company locations -- a service traditionally called "the pony" by AEP employees. The women declared that they will continue to use the pony name for the van. They plan to call it the Street MOMs Pony Express.

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