Business & economy, In the community

Vale business wants to lend a hopeful, helpful holiday hand

VALE – Derek Chamberlain knows he’s fortunate.
Six years ago, Chamberlain and his wife, Claire, opened Vale’s CAPS Auto Truck, on North 12th Street.
Fast forward to 2022 and the Chamberlain’s own stores in Ontario, Baker City and just opened a new facility in La Grande.
“We’ve been blessed,” said Chamberlain.
Now Chamberlain wants to give back. In a recent Facebook post, the local businessman wrote “Everyone probably knows someone that is down on their luck, or despite their best efforts to stretch a dollar probably won’t have money to buy gifts for their kids this Christmas.”
Chamberlain said while his business can’t help everyone who needs assistance, he wants to support two or three individuals in need.
“The people who are just down on their luck for whatever reason. Maybe someone passed away and they paid the funeral expenses and now they are having trouble paying their heating bill. Christmas puts a financial crunch on so many people,” he said.
Chamberlain said people have also sent messages via Facebook asking how they may help someone as well.
“There have been people who reached out to us and said, hey we’d like to help too but we don’t know who needs it. So maybe there is the ability to bring other community members in to help. Maybe it can turn into a partnership. I think there is a potential opportunity for that,” he said.
Chamberlain said his focus is to provide a specific type of assistance. For example, if a family has lost its washer or drier or their refrigerator suddenly failed, he’d like to help.
“We’d rather buy things for people rather than just give money,” said Chamberlain.
He said the help will be provided discreetly.
“Their name won’t be blasted out over Facebook,” said Chamberlain.
He said the best way to seek assistance, or to partner with Vale’s CAPS Auto Truck to provide help, is by direct message on the businesses Facebook page at

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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