ELKHART — The bus division at Forest River Inc., hoping to mark a production milestone in a meaningful way, will be giving away a shuttle bus to an organization in need.

Churches, senior care centers, schools and not-for-profit agencies have been invited to send an email to the company explaining what the organization does, who it serves and why it would be the best choice to receive a free bus.

“As we got ready to celebrate our 100,000th bus, we thought, why not give something back to the community?” division president David Wright said Tuesday.  

Organizations in need of a bus can send a brief email to busgiveaway@forestriverinc.com. Requests must be received no later than Friday. 

The winner will be announced Sept. 24 at the Forest River Product Expo in Elkhart. 

The company already has already received more than 100 entries. Wright said a committee of four people – two from the industry and two from the community, none affiliated with Forest River – will chose the recipient. 

“We wish we could give away more than one,” Wright said. “There are so many good organizations doing good things in the community.”

A shuttle bus will be ordered and built specifically for the winning organization. It may have a lift, special seating or other features specific to the needs of the recipient.  

Wright said the bus being given away is not the 100,000th unit produced by the company. That vehicle already has been ordered and is in production, and will be given to the customer in a ceremony later this fall. The company celebrated the production of its 25,000th bus in 2012. 

“There really are no strings attached or gimmicks,” Wright said. “We’re just very thankful to our great employees, our great dealers and our community.”

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