From Our President: Challenges of a Daily Commute Aren't Always the Same

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 10:12 PM

By Martin Schwartz, President

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Last week, most of us found ourselves sitting at the Thanksgiving table surrounded by friends, family and other loved ones. There was turkey, stuffing and cranberries on thousands of tables here in the Baltimore area and, hopefully, the chance for each of us to be thankful for all that we have been afforded in life.

One of the things I am extremely grateful for is my relatively short (10 mile) commute to work. As much as I dislike the occasional traffic jam, I know that many you have it so much worse. Did you know that the average commute time in the Baltimore Metropolitan region is more than 30 minutes, only to be rivaled by mega cities like New York and Los Angeles? Or that drivers in the region spend about 47 hours stuck in traffic each year, according to the 2018 State of the Region Report?

25 years ago, when commuting to work, I would see individuals standing at the bus stop and think how miserable it must be to not have a car. Today, when I see a family at the bus stop, I am reminded of the more than 6,000 families whose lives have been transformed thanks to the great work of Vehicles for Change.

For many families living in our communities, just hopping in the car and driving to work each morning or taking their children to a doctor’s appointment isn’t an option. For them, it’s a much longer ordeal that often involves multiple bus lines that triple their commute time or Lyft rides that can cost a significant amount of their daily wages. When I remember those families, I appreciate how blessed I am to be here at VFC where every day we are able to impact the lives of those local families.

I ask you this: what would you do if you didn’t have your vehicle to get to-and-from work and manage the normal daily chores? To most there is nothing more daunting that life without their car! But so many attempt to do just that every day. You can help us help them. Learn more about Vehicles for Change and what we’re able to achieve for hardworking families and individuals who just need a little extra support. You may also contribute a monetary gift to our crowdfunding campaign or learn more about donating your old car, truck or van to help those in need.