Thieves steal van used by Restored Paths Ministry to feed Cleveland homeless

Our Lady of the Wayside, NewsChannel5 provide help

CLEVELAND - For more than six years, Denise Toth has been helping to feed Cleveland's homeless.

Toth founded Restored Paths Ministry, an organization she created to deliver hot meals to homeless children and adults, who are not living in under the care of a shelter. Toth used her 1992 Chevrolet G20 van to drive food to underpasses, abandoned buildings, anywhere the homeless live.

But on Aug. 31 Toth's van was stolen, along with a large amount of supplies.

"It had every single thing in it that a homeless person would need," Toth said. "It had tents; it had tarps. We carried everything, clothes, shoes, boots, socks. The food in the back of it had a catering food transport container."

To make matters worse, Toth is still trying to recover from a fire that severely damaged the Restored Paths Ministry kitchen and storage pantry two weeks earlier.

NewsChannel5 profiled Toth's ongoing effort to help the homeless back in March, a ministry that serves more than 70 to 100 people every week.

Toth described her missing 1992 Chevrolet G20 van as being brown in color, with gold and tan trim.

NewsChannel5 contacted Our Lady of the Wayside for help. 

Program administrator Ken Voigt responded immediately. Voigt located a group of generous Our Lady of the Wayside donors, who purchase a viable used van for Toth, so she could continue her work.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to help such a worthwhile ministry," Voigt said. "We thank all of our donors in northeast Ohio, who continue to give us their cars, even in this tough economy."

"To go out and find these people who are homeless, and to make sure that they have a solid meal is just phenomenal. If this little bit of what we're doing today is going to help her keep that going, then I'm very happy to do that."

The Dodge Caravan Toth is receiving is being given a free complete mechanical restoration by TNT Automotive LLC of Cleveland.

"I'm so happy to have another van. It will be put to good use," Toth said. "Of course, I still hope my original van will be located."

Our Lady of the Wayside enriches the lives of individuals who have developmental disabilities. It's an effort that is funded in part by generous people who donate their vehicles, who are then able to use that donation as a tax deduction.

Those interested in donating their vehicles through the Our Lady of the Wayside Car Donation Program can find complete information on this website.

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