Blog : News


Blessings of the Season

Thursday, December 13, 2018 4:15 PM

Frankie (1).pngAbove all else, Frankie is a dedicated father to his sweet 4-year-old son. Frankie works hard to provide for his son but his daily commute is brutal with two connecting bus rides resulting in a 2.5-3 hour commute each way. Due to the unreliability of the public transit system, Frankie struggles to get to work on time despite leaving early. Not only that, but with the mounting costs of public transit (close to $400/ month), Frankie admitted that taking the bus each day takes a huge toll on his family’s finances.

Without personal transportation Frankie explained that the hardest thing is dealing with the elements – not only for himself but for his son. Currently, both father and son must wait outside – at times in freezing winds and rain – to get where they need to go. With winter just around the corner, Frankie explained, this vehicle could not come at a better time.

With his...

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Carpooling with Coworkers

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 3:10 PM

Leslie never knows where his ride to work will come from. He either borrows his son’s car, takes the metro, or carpools with friends. Relying on other people is difficult for him and the metro can be expensive. Leslie has five children, ages 12, 13, 14, 21, and 22. His daughter is only able to participate in cheerleading after school, because a classmate’s parent gives her a ride home. Leslie’s children would like to be involved in more after school programs, but their transportation issues prevent them from doing so. His son’s car is not always available when Leslie’s other children need to go to the doctor.

This car award will greatly improve Leslie and his family’s life. He plans on showing up early to work and impressing his boss, which will lead to a raise. He is excited for his future and hopes to better his career and earning potential. Leslie wants this car award to improve as...

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More Time for Family

Monday, November 7, 2016 6:39 PM

Nia lives almost 50 miles away from her job as a personal care assistant. It takes more than an hour to get to work when she gets rides from friends, and even longer when she takes the bus.

Nia has a 4-year-old who she wants to spend more time with. A lot of her time is spent in training to becoming a certified nursing assistant, which influences the amount of free time she gets. Nia also spends a large amount of money on transportation to take her son to and from places.

Nia looks forward to not waking early in the morning to get to work. She can pick up more hours at work and spend more quality time with her son. She plans on taking him to an apple and pumpkin farm to take advantage of the fall season.

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July: Parks and Recreation Month (1)

Thursday, July 14, 2016 5:36 PM

Since 1985, America has dedicated July as national Parks and Recreation month. And what better way to celebrate than taking a day off and enjoying a few of Maryland’s 40 state parks! Whether your ideal day trip is taking the family our for a planned beach day at Sandy point or going on a spontaneous drive to explore the hiking trails of Cunningham Falls, there are adventures to be found and memories to be made. Whatever you choose . . . go explore, be active, and see what Maryland has to offer!

But nothing ruins a fun day in the sun like car troubles. So before you set out to take advantage of one of our beautiful park, you may want to consider a few things like: does your car need new oil, new tires, or a checkup? Even if your engine or oil light is not on, it’s a still a great idea to have your vehicle checked and serviced.

Master Mechanic, Wayne Farrar, is Full Circle Service...

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July: Parks and Recreation Month

Thursday, July 14, 2016 5:35 PM

Since 1985, America has dedicated July as national Parks and Recreation month. And what better way to celebrate than taking a day off and enjoying a few of Maryland’s 40 state parks! Whether your ideal day trip is taking the family our for a planned beach day at Sandy point or going on a spontaneous drive to explore the hiking trails of Cunningham Falls, there are adventures to be found and memories to be made. Whatever you choose . . . go explore, be active, and see what Maryland has to offer!

But nothing ruins a fun day in the sun like car troubles. So before you set out to take advantage of one of our beautiful park, you may want to consider a few things like: does your car need new oil, new tires, or a checkup? Even if your engine or oil light is not on, it’s a still a great idea to have your vehicle checked and serviced.

Master Mechanic, Wayne Farrar, is Full Circle Service...

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Consider Donating Abandoned Cars to Charity

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 5:13 PM

stronger-families.jpgFamilies that have extensive land often find old and abandoned trash on their property. Furniture, scrap metal, and old bicycles are commonly found in a person's woods, and generally have to be disposed of by the property owner. Occasionally one finds even larger objects abandoned on the property – such as a car.

Vehicles are sometimes abandoned when the owner doesn't know what else to do with the car and has no patience for disposing of it properly. In these cases, the property owner that finds the car should consider donating it to a charity. As car donation charities usually pick up the vehicles from the donor, this has the added benefit of getting the car off the land and potentially earning the landowner a tax deduction.

Donating cars to charity is beneficial to all parties involved for a multitude of reasons. It provides the charity with a car and raises the charities visibility,...

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Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Help Make Holidays Special

Wednesday, December 24, 2014 4:28 PM

Both Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations work hard to in a still a strong sense of community service in their members. Vehicles for Change was recently fortunate enough to have had members of both organizations help our families – all within one week!

Manzella repair

As his Eagle Scout service project, Virginia resident David Manzella helped a family in need solve its transportation challenges. David planned, developed and led the project from start to finish, securing a donated vehicle, raising the funds to repair the vehicle, and leading a team of eight Boy Scouts and friends in making the repairs themselves. On Tuesday, December 16th, David handed over the car keys to David and Ashley Meachum, who have four young children. The Meachums live in Mount Airy, Maryland – their access to employment and doctor’s appointments was very limited without a vehicle. Watch WMAR ABC2’s coverage of the award...

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PP File Test (1)

Monday, December 1, 2014 7:12 PM

This is  test - CLICK HERE

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Partnership Help for Those Who Need a Car

Friday, November 14, 2014 3:27 PM

loyala.jpg

 

For Colm Walker, service goes beyond the classroom. Today, students from the Loyola University MBA program arrived at Vehicles for Change with several packages of tools from Apex Tool Group.

The tools are to be used as part of Vehicles for Change's Center for Automotive Careers Technician Training Program that will launch their first cohort in spring 2015.

“Our capstone class has a Jesuit and Service based component,” said Walker, this was the perfect opportunity to utilize practical learning and leverage it into making a difference.”

This generous act was all made part by Jill McKinney, Apex Tool Group and the rest of the MBA students from Loyola. They believe that receiving exposure has helped make service a component in their everyday lives.

“This has been an eye opening experience,” said Walker, it has increased my awareness on how you can get involved and interact.”

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Testimonial: Thank you is not enough

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 3:12 PM

"Your generosity has helped me more than you can imagine. You've given me a chance to improve my life as well as the lives of my 2 children. Thank you is not enough, but it's all I can say." - Heather

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Testimonial: The process was very easy

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 9:11 AM

“The process was very easy and I was especially pleased that someone will be able to use our car that was so good to us” – Patricia B.

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Important: VFC Office Closure

Sunday, July 20, 2014 11:50 PM

Due to Hurricane Sandy, Vehicles for Change office will close at 12 pm on Monday, October 29th. Our office will also be closed on Tuesday, October 30th.

If you need to reach VFC staff, please use the following email addresses:

General Inquiries: info@vehiclesforchange.org

Donations: seccleston@vehiclesforchange.org

Vehicle Application: applicant@vehiclesforchange.org

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VFC Grand Opening - November 15th

Sunday, July 20, 2014 11:50 PM

VFC's Grand Opening is on Thursday, November 15th.

Our Address: 4111 Washington Boulevard Halethorpe, MD 21227
When: 8:30- 10:30 a.m.

When traveling to VFC office, please use the entrance at the back of our building. To get to this entrance: Turn onto Old Washington Boulevard from Route 1. The VFC office is on the right-hand side, approximately .25 miles up the road.

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Vehicles for Change Partners with Harford County Wheels for Work to Provide Vehicles to Homeless

Sunday, July 20, 2014 11:50 PM

Vehicles for Change loves to partner with city, county, and state resources providers to help get cars to those who need them. This news story tells about a partnership that is helping poor people get transportation.

Here is an excerpt:

Wheels for Work, a new program that was made possible through a grant from the Dresher Foundation, will provide cars and bus transportation to clients of Anna’s House, Harford Family House, SARC and the Homecoming Project. The grant will cover part of the cost of the vehicle and will enable the partner program clients to participate in financial literacy training and a savings plan, to prepare them for the cost of car ownership. Like all Vehicles for Change car recipients, Wheels for Work clients need to be working at least 30 hours a week or have a verifiable job offer before they are eligible to receive a vehicle.

And here is the link to the story: VFC ...

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Listen Up Nonprofit Leaders: Profit Is Not a Dirty Word

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 11:14 PM

On Monday, September 24th, Marty Schwartz led a session on social enterprise at the Social Enterprise Alliance's Mid-Atlantic Summit. See coverage of the presentation here. In the article below, Marty talks about social enterprise, which refers to business models, for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, whose main purpose is the common good:

No doubt this economy has hit everyone hard. Nonprofit organizations are getting it from both sides: not only are there more people finding themselves in need and reaching out to the nonprofit world for assistance, but government and foundation funding is dwindling. Nonprofits have to pay attention to the bottom line. A nonprofit that cannot stay in business cannot do good for anyone.
 
Vehicles for Change was established, in 1999, on the premise that it was a nonprofit “business.” It was our intention to build a sustainable business that...

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Walking the Line: The New Face of Poverty

Sunday, July 20, 2014 11:50 PM

In America, over 46 million people - 15% of the population - currently live in poverty. There's a common misconception that these people are impoverished because they don't want to work. At VFC, we see every day that this couldn't be further from the truth.

Over the past 13 years, Vehicles for Change has awarded 4,000 cars to low-income families. The majority of these families are single mothers with 2-3 children, who travel by bus, train and foot 3-4 hours each day in order to keep an $8.50/hour job, just so they can feed their children. Personally, we at VFC know that we could not walk in their shoes for a week, let alone endure this grueling schedule they maintain for years.

Being a single parent is, at best, a difficult life. These parents work an 8-hour job, come home and make dinner, get homework, baths, food shopping, and lunches complete. Pretty grueling, right? Now add to that...

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The Workforce Pipeline

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 12:26 PM

East Baltimore Development Inc., a nonprofit organization that is leading the transformation of an area north of the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, knows firsthand that it takes a community of businesses and agencies to help individuals overcome employment barriers and get back to work.

Here's how they do it: 

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The Vehicles for Change Capital Campaign

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 12:26 PM

With your assistance, Vehicles for Change has awarded nearly 4,000 vehicles to worthy families, providing them with greater educational and development opportunities and enabling them to obtain better paying jobs, spend more time with their children and build stronger families.

Cars do make a difference! From the VFC team and all 4,000 families, we give you a sincere "Thank You!"

Each vehicle donation, financial contribution and personal recommendation has strengthened our program and enabled VFC to transform the lives of even more families.

Over the past few years, Vehicles for Change has grown to reach new heights and new families, and in July 2012 we purchased a 33,000 square foot warehouse.  Our new facility presents many exciting opportunities. Our new space will house the VFC and Freedom Wheels programs, and provide space for a new automotive training center, which will supply...

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VFC Partner Northern Virginia Family Services Receives Grant to Award Cars to Low-Income Families

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 3:36 PM

Vehicles for Change is excited to report that one of our partnering agencies, Northern Virginia Family Services (NVFS), has been awarded funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to provide vehicles to low-income families. The grant is for $999,044, and will be distributed over a two-year period.

In late June, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) voted to approve funding for nine projects aimed at improving mobility options for low-income commuters and persons with disabilities in metropolitan Washington. These projects are funded under the Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) and New Freedom Programs of the Federal Transit Administration.

Northern Virginia Family Services’ car award program, which receives cars from Vehicles for Change, was selected to receive funding in 2012 and 2013. The grant will help approximately 280 families receive vehicles.

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Coming along nicely!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 3:31 PM

Hello again, dear reader. I am so excited to tell you about this morning – I got to work early so I could run down to City Arts and check out the progress on the van.

Back story –We  wanted to turn that drab white van into an Art Van that tells the story of a family without access to reliable transportation.  Our first step was to find an artist, so we got in touch with Daniel Stuelpnagel,  the art car curator for ArtScape to see if he had any suggestions. He had a great one: Have the up-and-coming artists at City Arts collaborate on the design.  I dropped the van off on Friday afternoon for our artists to work on over the weekend. We want to leave space for the public to paint, too. When we take it on tour, we’re going toinvite people to add their creativity to the van.

I got to City Arts pretty early, and this is what I found --

Laying out the van

Well, my first thought was "WOW! That's AWESOME!" My...

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