Bringing the Holidays Home for a Fredericksburg Family

On Thursday, December 20th Vehicles for Change was thrilled to be able to award a vehicle to DeAnna Hamn, in collaboration with Telemedia Broadcasting and Melendez Motors.“We’re excited to partner with Telemedia and Melendez Motors to provide a car to a family who otherwise would not be able to obtain a vehicle,” said Martin Schwartz, president of Vehicles for Change, “When local businesses and nonprofits combine their efforts, the impact is magnified exponentially. This vehicle will help the winning family travel to work and take their children to sports and extracurricular activities.” 

Early in October, Alvin Melendez, owner of Melendez Motors, contacted Telemedia Broadcasting and Vehicles for Change, suggesting that the organizations work together to provide a car to a family in need during the holiday season.

Melendez Motors donated the car, a 2000 Ford Windstar Van, to Vehicles for Change. Nominations for deserving families were solicited from the community through Thunder 104.5, a station associated with Telemedia Broadcasting. Vehicles for Change then reviewed the entries to ensure they matched the program’s qualifications. As a final part of the contest, Thunder 104.5 listeners voted on one of two finalists to pick the winning family.

DeAnna Hamn has two children and will use the vehicle to travel to work and continue volunteering in the community.

Like all Vehicles for Change car recipients, nominees for the vehicle needed to be working at least 30 hours a week or have a verifiable job offer before they are eligible to receive a vehicle. Typically, VFC recipients pay an average of $750 for their vehicle. Thanks to Melendez Motors, the Fredericksburg family will receive the vehicle free of charge. The dealership is also covering the cost of the vehicle’s title and tags.

Telemedia and Melendez Motors were familiar with Vehicles for Change due to the nonprofit’s work with area families. Vehicles for Change assists families throughout Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C., and awards approximately 175 vehicles each year to families in southern Virginia.

“Giving back to the community is important to us,” said Tom Cooper, General Manager of Telemedia Broadcasting, “And an opportunity to partner with an established business like Melendez Motors made it even better.”

“As president-elect for the Virginia Independent Auto Dealers Association, I wanted to do something for the community,” said Melendez, “If we all work together, we can make a difference in people’s lives.”