BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) — Programs for Exceptional People (PEP) helps adults with special needs. Now, with the help of the community and grants, they have added some new vans to their fleet.

“It boosts our peer connections,” said Nancy Sulak, the Executive Director. That’s why PEP is so vital to its members.

“It’s their first socialization of the day, among those who share the same bus, it also contributes to community involvement by facilitating group outings, exercise and employment,” Sulak said.

The challenge is having the space and vans to pick up the adults with developmental disabilities. That’s where two new vans, the result of donations and a grant from The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry are a key to the program. It’s also important for the members to get them not just to the center but to their jobs and recreation centers so they can explore the area.

“We have a cooking program here. One thing we do is we take them to the grocery stores and to go shopping for the food. We take them to the park on a beautiful, Lowcountry day,” Sulak said. “They will go to the Park Discovery Museum  to volunteer at the Camellia Gardens.”

The six vans in the fleet will travel close to 500 miles a day and those trips cost money, that’s why next weekend’s gala and online auction is so important to PEP.

“All the funds that are raised during the paddle raise at our gala next Saturday will go toward this very important transportation program,” Sulak said. “Up to $25,000 will be matched by the Hickory Fund.”

A fund that means more than money it means freedom for everyone there.

They received enough money to pay for six vehicles. The buses pick up PEP members and take them to jobs, parks and recreational centers. It’s a way for members to practice their life skills, socialize and work.

If you want to go to the gala or see what items are up for auction you can click or tap this link. Or text pep to 843-606-5995.