Vehicle Gives Single Mom Time, Opportunities
For Varee Dyson, a single mother of 4 who lives in Alexandria, VA, car ownership represents an entire new way of thinking.
Now, when she's looking for a job she won't have to ask if the business is off of a bus line. She won't have to schedule her shift so that it corresponds with the schedule of the local bus route. And she won't have to take each of her 4 children with her every time she visits the laundromat, because they can now carry all of their laundry in their car.
"The first thing we did when we got our car was go to the laundromat," Dyson said with a laugh, "We didn't have to worry about taking a cab or bus!"
In February 2013, Dyson was awarded a 2001 Toyota Avalon - the perfect vehicle to fit her active family.
For the past few years, Dyson has been working at Reagan National Airport, because the airport is easily accessible by public transit. While she's trained and has years of experience as a medical assistant and phlebotomist, she hasn't been able to find a job in her field along a bus route.
Living without a car also meant it was difficult to take care of her children's medical needs. She has a son with asthma and a daughter with seizures - if either of them needed immediate medical attention Dyson had to call an ambulance, since she had no way to take them to the emergency room.If they had a 10 am doctor's appointment in Fairfax, the family had to leave at 7 am to get to the appointment on time.
What a car gives them is time, precious time, and the ability to take advantage of opportunities around them.
Dyson's fifteen-year old daughter plays violin in the district orchestra. Dyson has missed most of her daughter's performances, because she couldn't get there in time. Upon receiving her car, she was also able to make it to one of her son's basketball games.
How do her children feel about the vehicle? They're elated, and not just because they no longer need to help mom out at the laundry mat.
"They are so happy," Dyson said. "When we first got the car, they said, 'Mom, can we just get in the car and go for a ride around the corner?'"
"This car changed everything for me...I'm so happy," added Dyson, "Without Vehicles for Change, it would still be such a struggle. I could not have afforded insurance and a car payment - they found a way to make it easy and affordable."