Safaa and his family fled to the U.S. from Iraq as refugees in December of 2016. Despite working as an aircraft engineer for 19 years at the Iraqi Aircraft Company, Safaa now works at a bakery in order to provide or his wife and three children ages 4, 3, and 4-months. Without his own transportation to rely on, Safaa has not been able to accept a second job despite wanting to earn more income for his family. This is in addition to the economic burden placed on the family by having to use expensive ride-sharing services to get to and from doctor’s appointments and grocery shopping.
With his newly awarded VFC vehicle, Safaa is looking forward to completing basic errands more easily. He also cannot wait to take his family to lunch at their favorite Afghani restaurant for a taste of home! Safaa excitedly mentioned that he loves cooking biryani and his wife is looking forward to visiting a...Continue Reading
For years Jessica struggled with alcohol addiction which left her homeless and straining to provide for her nine-year-old son who lives full-time in a mental treatment facility. When Jessica learned she was pregnant again, she knew things had to change. Luckily, Jessica was able to move in with a friend who also helped her get a job as a medical technician.
After working only 3 months, Jessica had 10 clients on her caseload. Jessica’s boss noticed her hard work and not only gave her a raise but allowed her to move into an apartment on the facility’s campus. Once Jessica had her baby, her boss knew Jessica would need even more support and allowed Jessica to move in with her.
Although Jessica was so grateful for the help, her boss had health problems as well as a child with disabilities of her own, so Jessica knew the situation would not be sustainable for long. Without bus routes near...Continue Reading
Unlike most VFC car recipients, Cheyenne was not alone when she came to accept her VFC car award. Cheyenne was accompanied by her two case workers, Tara and Holly, from Caroline County DSS who wanted to share the moment with her! Cheyenne is a Baltimore native currently working at a nursing home in Denton, MD. Before owning her own vehicle, Cheyenne struggled to get to work, to the grocery store, and to doctor's visits for her two-year-old daughter. Having to walk everywhere, Cheyenne noted, “Walking with a two-year-old is not a fast process.”
Now with her newly-awarded VFC car award, Cheyenne can finally get where she needs to go at her own pace! Cheyenne even looks forward to traveling further than she was able to previously and stated that she can’t wait to take her daughter to Ocean City. “This is a huge blessing because of this program, my daughter and I don’t have to struggle...Continue Reading
For most, the holidays are a time of joy and celebration. Sadly, for Yasmine’s family, that was not the case. Yasmine is the proud mother of four beautiful children ages 11, 6, and twins, age 4. In November, Yasmine received the devastating news that her oldest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. Things took another hard turn when in December, Yasmine’s car broke down leaving her family without independent transportation. With work being 10 miles away, Yasmine had to find some way to continue getting to work and her children to school. She began using ride sharing services. Not only was this costly, but the temperatures were dropping below freezing and Yasmine did not want her children to have to continue waiting outside. So, Yasmine took on the extra cost of renting a vehicle to keep her kids out of the cold.
At $30 per day, Yasmine has spent over $1,800 on the car rental alone....Continue Reading
Grace’s journey to car-ownership has been long. Originally from Kenya, Grace moved to the United States only a year ago. Without a car of her own, she was passed over for her first job opportunity but is now currently working in the IT sector as a communications technician. Before being awarded her Vehicles for Change car, Grace tried renting a car costing her $280 per week. With her paycheck barely meeting the car rental payment, she began using the bus which required a 30-minute walk before having to take two bus rides totaling 2 hours, one-way.
With osteoarthritis in her knees, Grace’s work commutes as well as bus rides to and from physical therapy were not only long, but painful. When asked how having her own car will affect her life, Grace emphatically answered, “positively!” She is excited to no longer have to worry about getting to work on time and is looking forward to doing...Continue Reading
Ashley makes it her business to help others. As a paratransit driver, Ashley aids clients with essential trips, like grocery shopping and doctors’ visits. Even at nine-months pregnant, Ashley worked from 4:00 AM to 2:00 PM helping clients into and out of the mobility van. Without her own vehicle, Ashley’s daily commute began even earlier with walking and waiting for a bus to transport her and her four-year-old son to daycare before heading to work.
Ashley explained that it is very difficult to complete basic errands and doctor’s visits while having to rely on buses and rides from others. With bills to pay and children to care for, using a ridesharing service like Lyft is a huge cost-burden for Ashley’s family costing upwards of $90 per week. With her new car, Ashley will be better able to keep up with necessary doctor’s visits and spend more quality time with her son and new baby girl....Continue Reading
Jewel is a mother of four children aged twenty, seventeen, ten and seven-years-old. She relies heavily on her mother to drive her, in order to get from place-to-place. Her mother is in need of hip replacement surgery but has decided to put it on the back burner until Jewel and her children are standing on their own two feet. With four kids to take care of, Jewel often times finds herself struggling to juggle everyday tasks, such as taking her youngest to school, traveling to the grocery store and laundry mat, or helping her eldest to get to work on time.
With this car award, Jewel cannot only drive herself to work but can also help her children get to school and work. Thus, giving her mother the time and space she needs to focus on her health. She explains, “This opened the doors for me to be a better mom to my kids.” Jewel also feels prideful that this is the first car that is in her ...Continue Reading
Meet Angela, she is a hardworking mother of four, one ten-year old, one six-year old, and twins aged three. Her twins have both been diagnosed with autism and need several behavioral, developmental, and doctor’s appointments. Every day, she has to wait for her grandparents to arrive to watch the younger kids before she can head to work. Angela has to either take rides from her mother or pay thirty dollars for an Uber to get to her job located twenty-five miles away. Per week, she estimates spending about one hundred dollars for an Uber. Without any form of reliable transportation, Angela has been unable to attend many of the necessary appointments for her young twins.
With her newly awarded car, Angela can take the twins to receive all of the professional care they need. She is planning a family trip to the National Zoo in...Continue Reading
Robert is an employee for Gettle Electric, but was previously an apprentice for the Project JumpStart Program. During his apprenticeship, he relied heavily on his co-workers to drive him to and from work, paying a total of $100 a week for their generosity and flexibility. His other option for transportation was by bus, which made a 10 minute car commute turn into 45 minutes, one way. Robert’s young nephew also wants to join the football team at his school, but without a car, the commute would prove to be inaccessible, leaving Robert feeling guilty.
With his new car award, Robert no longer has to rely on others nor spend large amounts money on transportation. This car will also help him spend more quality time with his niece and nephew. “I won’t have to just get off of work and go to point ‘B’. I’ll be able to put my nephew into the football league and I’ll be able ...Continue Reading
Erum is a mother of two children, aged eight and three-years-old. Due to her lack of reliable transportation, her children half to walk to school and daycare, even in inclement weather. As their mother, this causes her to worry about the health and safety of her children. Erum’s daily commute can easily extend over four hours a day via bus, but with a car, she says the trip their and back would be no more than forty-five minutes. Her eldest son wishes to play sports after school, however, without a car, the possibilities of that are slim to none.
With this car award, Erum can not only spend more time with her family, but she can also save time and money driving to work and back. She explains, “It (car award) will save me time and money that I always end up paying to the daycare provider if I am running late. Most importantly, my kid will get to daycare safely.” Erum is going to take...Continue Reading