AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Kathy Price’s Austintown-based Mission of Love has sent food and clothes, building and medical supplies to places like Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
Mission of Love’s newest venture is sending a fire truck, donated by the Lordstown Fire Department, to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The Lakota people, a confederation of seven related Sioux tribes, have never had a fire truck.
The village tried selling the truck, but no bids were received.
“This was our next best option, besides scrapping it,” said Lordstown Fire Chief Travis Eastham.
Price is the founder of Mission of Love, a humanitarian relief organization that has assisted third-world countries and those on the indigenous Indian reservations in the U.S. She said she was shocked when she learned that the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation had no fire truck of its own.
“It’s unbelievable, and it’s disgusting. It’s not right,” she said.
Lordstown Councilman Ron Radtka volunteers for the organization, and when Price learned of the need for a fire truck, Radka had a solution.
“I made contact with Kathy, and she was all on board with it,” he said.
The truck was loaded to ship off at Lutz Farm, and it began its trek to South Dakota on Tuesday.
Transport National, with a terminal in North Jackson, is moving it at cost. It will make it to its final location on December 29.
This isn’t the first time the Mission of Love has found a use for no-longer-needed fire trucks. In the 1990s, Austintown was getting rid of two. The Mission of Love took them and had the 910th Airlift Wing deliver them to a town in Mexico.