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Christmas comes early for local Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity trailer
A brand new D3 Tandem Axle Dump Trailer and a $10,000 check were presented to the Habitat for Humanity of Stanislaus and Merced County earlier this month as part of the nationwide PJ for a Cause campaign (Photo contributed).

A brand new axle dump trailer will be taking some weight off the shoulders of local Habitat for Humanity volunteers thanks to PJ Trailers and Bonander Truck and Trailer in Turlock.

On the morning of Nov. 7, Habitat for Humanity of Stanislaus and Merced County were gifted a D3 Tandem Axle Dump Trailer and a $10,000 check as part of the nationwide PJ for a Cause campaign. The local Habitat for Humanity branch was one of just 25 recipients from across the country and the only non-profit in California to receive this year’s PJ for a Cause donation.

“It was a beautiful sight, and much needed,” said Stanislaus and Merced Habitat for Humanity board chair David Gonzales.

Keith Mello, general manager of Bonander Truck and Trailer in Turlock, was the one who nominated the local Habitat for Humanity branch. He told their CEO, Anita Hellam, that he had been admiring the non-profit from afar for years. While he didn’t feel his construction skills could benefit the organization, he realized putting together an application for PJ for a Cause was another way he could help. 

“PJ for a Cause is all about supporting the causes that are near and dear to our dealer network across the United States and Canada,” added Marc-Andre Dubois, senior vice president of marketing for PJ Trailers. “With 25 non-profit organizations receiving support this year, we’re delighted our inaugural donation has connected us with such a worthy cause. Nominated by our local dealer Bonander Trailers, we know the donation of $10,000 and a PJ dump trailer will go a long way in supporting the Habitat for Humanity mission in Central Valley California.”

After Habitat for Humanity expanded services to include all of Merced and Stanislaus counties, a need for a trailer came to light following the heavy rains of December and January that flooded homes throughout the counties, triggering major disaster declarations by FEMA and the State of California. Sections of Merced, McSwain, Atwater and Planada were hardest hit.  Many survivors of the floods are still residing in damaged and unsafe structures and in various forms of transitional housing as they await completion of their home repairs for safe and secure occupancy.

In addition to their continued efforts to rebuild local homes, the branch moved their corporate office to Tenaya Drive in Modesto. They also moved their ReStore, which offers discounted, reusable household items and building materials, to the intersection of Tenaya and Mitchell roads. They are gearing up for the grand opening of their newest ReStore on 18th St. in Merced, hoping to have the doors open to the public before the year ends.