On Wednesday, May 13, LaKeia Lindsey will drive away in a recently donated and repaired 2000 Ford Taurus Station wagon, following a car dedication ceremony. LaKeia and her 3 children were referred to Wheels4Hope by Community Action Opportunities.
Reliable transportation matters and many in our community don’t have it. It can mean the difference between living in poverty and the middle class. A car that starts opens the door to education, employment, and an improved quality of life. In partnership with established, local nonprofit organizations, Wheels4Hope Asheville aims to work toward a solution to this problem, one donated car at a time.
Words from LaKeia Lindsey:
“I am a single mother to my 6 year-old son Jayden, 2 year-old son Ke’Javian, and my 6 month-old daughter Calaeya. I have been working at J&S Cafeteria since July 2014, and it is a daily struggle to arrange transportation to and from work and childcare. We are currently staying with family and friends, and having a reliable vehicle would give us more affordable locations to consider. It is my dream to live somewhere outside of the city limits so we can have a yard. I am applying for a Wheels4Hope vehicle because I feel that reliable transportation is essential in caring and providing for my family and maintaining my job. Receiving a vehicle would be a blessing and would impact my family in so many ways.”
Wheels4Hope is a local car donation program that takes donated cars, repairs them and works with community partner agencies to get the cars to people who need reliable transportation. Donated cars are repaired by volunteers and placed by referral through agencies in the local Asheville area such as Community Action Opportunities. These cars are not given away – they are sold for $500 to promote ownership and accountability (the average value of the cars is in the $2,000 – 4,000 range). It’s a hand up, not a hand out.
The Asheville affiliate of Wheels4Hope is based on an innovative model developed in Raleigh and Greensboro, NC 15 years ago to respond to the need for reliable transportation. In early 2014, a group of non-profit workers, a local business owner and mechanic, a faith leader, and community volunteers formed a committee in Asheville to explore the possibility of creating Wheels4Hope Asheville. Thanks in part to a People in Need grant from The Community Foundation of WNC, Wheels4Hope Asheville has recently hired Jamie Beasley to serve as the organization’s first staff member.