Blog : 2017


Future Role Model

Monday, May 22, 2017 7:14 PM

Daryl’s one and a half mile commute to his job at a machine shop should take a mere five minutes, but without a car, it takes Daryl thirty to fifty minutes.  Somedays he walks fifty minutes, and others he takes a thirty-minute subway ride. This journey can prevent him from spending time with his six-year-old daughter and helping her with her schoolwork. His daughter lives at her mother's house nearby, but the walk to-and-from can be exhausting, especially after a long day.

Having to depend on friends and family for transportation makes him feel like a burden. The grocery store is too far of a walk, so he relies on his father or his friends for a ride.  His doctor’s office is only down the street, but on foot, it takes Daryl thirty minutes.

Paying it forward is extremely important to Daryl.  He has friends in his neighborhood who are going down the wrong path, a situation he was once in...

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VFC Teams Up with Mervo

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 5:49 PM

Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School (Mervo) teamed up with Vehicles for Change for two car awards. The students worked on the cars that were donated to Vehicles for Change (VFC) through the Mervo automotive training program and then handed over the keys to the two highly deserving recipients. 

Christopher was one of the car recipients, who was just recently hired at HMC, Inc. Karen, CEO at HMC, spoke about her new hire and how valuable he has become to the organization but also recognized that Christopher has had a hard time making it work on time consistently because of his difficult commute from Baltimore to Columbia. It takes him an hour and a half coming and going and includes several bus rides. The students also handed over keys to car recipient Kyeonia, a Center for Urban Families (CFUF) Strive program alumnus, who is now employed in the medical field. Kyeonia's...

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Turning Life Around

Monday, April 17, 2017 6:23 PM

Sometimes Joseph goes a month and a half without seeing his kids, ages three years old and one year old, because he does not have reliable transportation. He pays a coworker $20 a week to get a ride to work and to get a ride home. The money adds up quickly and his separation from his children is hard on him.

Joseph just recently graduated from Helping Up Mission, an addiction treatment center in Baltimore Maryland, where he was in their one-year program. It has been difficult for him to get to doctor’s visits; he says he “can’t get anything done without relying on someone else.”

With the help of Vehicles for Change’s car recipient award program Joseph will be able to visit his young children at least once a week. He will be able to easily attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings and looks forward to taking his kids on fun outings.

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In Her Own Words

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 8:36 PM

"I would just like to say thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the car program. People tend to take for granted owning a vehicle and the ease of which you can get things done. This car has changed my family’s lives and mine. We now have a new sense of time and are able to spend so much more time together. Before we lost about four hours in a day riding the bus and having a car has given that back to us. Programs like these really do change people's lives and my family and I are very grateful to have been a part of it.

We love our car so much. The first night I brought it home we went out and it was wonderful just to be driving in our own vehicle. We are going and are sharing our joy of having a car with others. Your program has made a difference in our lives so we do not take for granted what we have. We like to give rides to others we know and help them out...

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Finding Stability

Monday, March 27, 2017 7:41 PM

Roxane’s commute to work varies day-to-day because her transportation depends on whether or not a coworker can drive her or if she has to pay a cab to take her.  The twenty-seven miles can take up to two hours on a bad day.

She recently moved out of a homeless shelter and is worried about losing her job because of her lack of reliable transportation. Her grandparents have been kind enough to take in her five-year-old daughter but without a car, Roxane is hardly able to visit and spend time with her.

Roxane looks forward to her car award. She plans on spending a lot more time with her daughter and is excited about the independence that car ownership will provide her.

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Balancing Bills

Monday, March 20, 2017 6:01 PM

Rashidah has to wake up at 5 am in order to get her 2-year-old son to daycare and herself to work on time. Her 2-hour commute involves 3 buses and walking over 20 minutes. She worries about her son being outside in the elements, especially in the winter.

In Rashidah’s neighborhood buses stop running at 6 pm, so her and her son are hardly able to do anything outside of their normal routine. The cost of buses and the occasional taxi cab add up, and Rashidah has been finding it difficult to balance the cost of transportation with her other bills.

She is beyond excited to receive her car award from Vehicles for Change. Rashidah is going to drive her son to Chuck-E-Cheese’s and plans on helping out other people that are struggling with transportation.

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Car Provides a Better Life

Monday, March 6, 2017 9:44 PM

Vonjj works at a dental office and is enrolled in school to prepare for dental school. In order to get to work and school, she has to count on family members and cabs for transportation. Vonjj has three children who ride with her and are dropped off at school. When riding the public transportation, Vonjj and her children have to wake up early to catch the bus.

With her car, Vonjj is able to work, attend school and ensure her three children get to and from school without obstacles. A reliable and affordable car puts Vonjj one step close to achieving success and providing a better life for her family.

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Future Construction Manager

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 7:17 PM

Tewodros has a busy schedule that is made even more difficult without reliable transportation. He works a job most days but also has an internship as an electrician, and on top of that, he takes college classes. Tewodros is working on getting a degree in construction management. He has to walk two miles to get to the bus stop and then spends an hour and a half on the bus just to get to work. When he has his apprenticeship he has to take three buses and the light rail while carrying his heavy electrical equipment.

With his car award from Vehicles for Change Tewodros will be able to spend a lot less time in transit and more time with his son. He will be able to go to the doctors and the grocery store when he needs to, and not have to wait for his friends to be available. Tewodros is excited to drive to work and to school and eagerly looks forward to keeping the car in tip-top shape.

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A Long Road to a Better Life

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 7:01 PM

Abuk is the mother of five with a sixth child due any day now. It takes her 40 minutes to walk her children to school and to get to work. Abuk is used to living a hard life, as she along with her husband, immigrated as refugees to the United States in 2004 from South Sudan, a war-torn country.

She has worked hard to support her children and provide a better life for them here in the United States. With a child on the way, her new car will be a huge help. Abuk will no longer have to walk in the cold weather. She will finally be able to make all of her prenatal doctor's appointments and save money instead of using cabs to get to them. Best of all, she will be able to go shopping with her family for baby clothes.

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More Family Time

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 7:53 PM

Charlene Dozier has to have two jobs to support herself and her three children. When she isn't working she is busy figuring out transportation for herself and her children.This requires figuring out public transportation or asking friends for rides. The problem with public transportation is that the bus fare for four adds up quickly, and the bus schedule usually means a lot of waiting for the family.

 Vehicle ownership will allow Charlene to easily take her children to school and drive herself to and from work. A new car means Charlene can continue working two jobs, plus pick up more hours. She will be able to continue to care for her children, but also provide more for them than she could before.

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Making the Doctors Appointments

Monday, February 6, 2017 5:50 PM

Michelle Morris only lives seven minutes away from her job, so why does her daily commute take 30 minutes? Because the mother of five has to rely on public transportation. Without a vehicle, Michelle struggles to get her children to school on time. Her 12-year-old can’t participate in volleyball after school because she has no way of picking him up afterward.

It is difficult for Michelle to get her children to doctor’s appointments, which are crucial because her daughter suffers from an unknown diagnosis requiring 3-4 doctors visits a month. Michelle struggles to take her daughter to her appointments and make it back home at a reasonable time to take care of the rest of her children. The kids miss out on fun trips and outings because the bus fare for 6 is so expensive.

Michelle and her children are beyond excited for their car award. They look forward to spending more quality time with...

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Breathing Easy

Monday, January 30, 2017 6:06 PM

Lindsay Lewis lives 20 minutes from her job. She takes public transportation, but it requires taking multiple buses at unpredictable times. She has been late to work many times because of the inconsistent bus schedules. If Lindsay cannot take the bus, Lindsay has to rely on other people for rides and wait for them to finish up their plans. 

 Because Lindsay’s mother is retired, she is able to look after her son and provide daycare. Difficulties arise when her son needs to go to doctor’s appointments. He has breathing issues and has to see a specialist in Towson. Getting him there is tough, especially because they have to rely on public transportation. 

 Lindsay hopes to use her new car to drive to Pittsburg and visit family. Her mom’s car could not fit everyone, and they can now take two cars when her family wants to go places. She plans on decorating her car with a new personalized...

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Car Brings Opportunity to Whole Family

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 5:51 PM

Delania Straws is a hardworking mother of four, and works at Henry Ford Hospital. Her and her children rely on public transportation, and family and friends to get wherever they need to go. It is difficult for her children to attend afterschool activities, and they end up missing many events.

Vehicle ownership allows Delania to safely transport herself to and from work. Her car will allow her children to be more involved and successful in school. The entire family is excited for all of the opportunities their new car will provide.

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Moving in the Right Direction

Monday, January 23, 2017 3:46 PM

Julia Brown relies on her family to drive her to work 40 minutes away. Since she works at night, she has to get a ride to her mother’s house before work to drop her daughter off. It takes a lot of effort for Julia to coordinate her schedule based on her friend's availability. Her daughter has missed cheerleading and band practice because of their lack of transportation.

Julia’s new car will change her life tremendously. She will continue to work at night in order to take care of her daughter during the day, but will take on more hours to earn more money. Julia will finally be able to take her daughter to cheerleading competitions and band practice. She will be able to save up money that she would have been spending on public transportation. She plans to decorate her car with a radio and GPS system.

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On The Path to Freedom

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:41 PM

Hope Thomas-Devs has a one-hour commute to work everyday. She leaves her home at 5:15a.m. and takes two buses and the subway to get to work at 7a.m. The commute is difficult for Hope, especially when the buses are late or there are subway delays.

To get to the grocery store, Hope has to walk there and then pay for cab rides back home with her groceries. She has trouble leaving her house because she does not want to deal with the MTA. Hope has a 7-year-old grandchild who she watches a fair amount. She cannot do activities with her because she does not want to wait for the bus on her days off.

Hope’s new car will allow her to pick her grandchild up from school and enjoy social activities with her. Hope will no longer have to stand at the bus stop in the cold. She looks forward to freedom and independence, and plans on letting her mother name the car.

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No More Costly Cabs

Monday, January 16, 2017 4:47 PM

Kelli Jackson lives in Howard County, but works half an hour away at BWI airport as an emergency dispatcher. Everyday she takes an Uber to and from work, which usually costs around $40 one way. She has two daughters, ages 5 and 8, who are looked after by her grandparents while she is at work. In addition to Ubering to work, Kelli also has to Uber to her grandparent’s house everyday to pick up her kids.

Because of Kelli’s schedule, she has to take her kids out of school two hours early everyday except Tuesdays, Fridays and every other weekend. Her oldest daughter is greatly impacted, and has to miss her favorite subject, math. She is able to take the work home with her, but it can be a struggle. 

Not having reliable transportation has impacted how Kelli runs her errands. When they get groceries, they walk to the market but have to Uber home with the bags. Sometimes if the day is busy,...

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Time to Help Others

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 5:15 PM

Christina Lester is the mother of three kids, ages 2,4 and 6. She pays for a cab to get her 2-year-old and 4-year-old to daycare everyday. It takes her 20 minutes in a cab everyday to get to work, which adds up to $18 per day. Christina is not able to take her kids to Chuck E Cheese or the park without a car, and they can’t play sports because of the cab costs.

Christina just graduated culinary school for catering, and wants to get a better job with her culinary background. She plans to use her new car to pursue her dream, and embrace her passion of cooking by getting her business license. She will take her kids out to the park and to do other activities. Christina will also serve the homeless at her church on Sundays.

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Mom's First Car

Monday, January 9, 2017 4:50 PM

Amanda Serio has three children ages 12, 8 and 2. It is hard for her and her children to get places when relying on public transportation. Amanda has had to walk a mile to and back from the grocery store, sometimes walking in the cold or heat with many grocery bags.

Amanda uses her mom or grandma's car to get to work. Sometimes if they need the car, her friends help out and drive her. She has had to cancel doctor’s appointments for her children when she didn’t have a ride. Her children are also not able to go on play dates because they have no way of getting there.

Amanda will use her new car to take her children to play dates. She plans on taking her kids to ocean city for vacation. This will be Amanda’s first car, so she will be sure to keep it clean and detailed.

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New Opportunities for Dedicated Mother

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 3:54 PM

Amekqua Phillip has to rely on her mother for rides or on Ubers to take her to work. She works at three different locations, which can be erratic and difficult to keep up with. The cost for Ubers can be up to $17. Amekqua has a one-year-old daughter who has to be dropped off on the way to work and back. Since her daughter gets too cold or cranky on the bus, they have to wake up earlier for an Uber.

Amekqua’s new car will allow her to go to the grocery store with her mom. She will go and visit her great Aunt in Baltimore City. She plans on decorating the car and keeping her and her daughter warm.

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