In the Vehicles for Change program, every donated vehicle impacts a low-income family. If the donated car is sent to auction or sold on our retail lot, 100 percent of the proceeds go back into the program and are used to repair vehicles for worthy families. If the vehicle can be expected to provide two years or 24,000 miles of service, then the car is deemed a “keeper” and awarded to a VFC family.
Recipient families come to VFC in two ways: they are either referred to VFC by our partnering social service agencies (such as local Department of Social Services offices) or they apply to our program independently. When VFC staff review the applications, they go over it thoroughly to make sure the applicant is qualified for our program. The staff looks closely at items such as the applicant’s income and expenses, to make sure that the applying family can afford the ongoing cost of car ownership.
If the applying family qualifies, the next step in the process is to match the family to a vehicle. Once the donated vehicle has been repaired and passed state inspection, it is ready to be matched to a family. Applicants are matched to vehicles based on their family size. VFC staff also takes into consideration the number of children who are required to ride in safety seats, since this impacts the type of vehicle that best fits the family.
The entire process, from applying for a vehicle to receiving a car, typically takes between 6-8 weeks – not a long time to wait to receive a vehicle at a significantly reduced cost!