Donate VEHICLE: Deliver HOPE to FAMILIES
When asked to help low-income families, many people immediately think of certain tangible, one-time resources. Food, water, and clothing come to mind almost instantaneously, as do popular resources like school supplies, appliances, and toys. Seldom does one think of donating a vehicle, and rarely does it seem reasonable or practical. In truth, many families greatly need their own vehicles, and VFC is here to help them obtain high quality transportation solutions at reasonable prices.
Why Donate a Vehicle Through VFC?
Car donation programs like Vehicles for Change are particularly beneficial to recipients. When low-income families look for cars, they are usually forced to deal with a limited number of used car dealerships that frequently use questionable sales tactics and inappropriate marketing techniques. For example, a used car dealership may offer an extremely low down payment price, but usually throws in incredibly high interest rates and unrealistic loan conditions. And even when the terms and conditions are reasonable, the car itself rarely has a reliable or accurate accident history or car ownership report on file.
Vehicles for Change is different. When an individual donates through Vehicles for Change, a real difference can be made. Now, instead of being forced to browse used car lots, low-income families have a reliable and trustworthy alternative. Vehicles for Change performs all repairs on-site, offers vehicle guarantees, and grants low-interest loans and below-market prices. It’s also important to note the vehicle recipients actually own the vehicle. It’s not a loan, and the family retains full ownership once the vehicle is paid for.
VFC Positive Benefits
Through generous donors and outstanding leadership, Vehicles for Change has impacted the lives of thousands of individuals and families. Since 1999, more than 5,000 cars have been awarded to low-income families, and 20,000 lives have drastically improved.
As a result of having reliable transportation, many individuals have received better access to job opportunities and financial freedom. Consider the following example, which is all too common among low-income families all across the country.
Maria is a single mother with a high school diploma and limited technical skills. In the past, she has held a number of paying jobs and has always proved to be a reliable and hard worker. However, after losing her car last year, she became dependent on public transportation to get her to and from work.
As a result, she started showing up late on a regular basis and eventually lost her job. With unreliable means of transportation, it became impossible for her to secure job interviews and opportunities. When Maria heard about Vehicles for Change, everything changed for the better. After receiving a car from the program, she was able to get to her job regularly and even earn a promotion because of her willingness to take on extra shifts and be flexible.
Maria’s story is quite common. As a result of purchasing an affordable and reliable vehicle through Vehicles for Change, families have seen an average annual earnings increase of $7,000 – with 75% reporting they miss fewer days of work each month. Additionally, 75% say they have been able to get a better job with better pay.
Who VFC Helps
While the ultimate objective of Vehicles for Change is to empower low-income families to become financially independent and secure through obtaining decent paying jobs, it helps a number of other situations and individuals in the process. From children and those with special needs to caregivers and elderly dependents, Vehicles for Change is an impactful program.
Children, for example, are negatively impacted by a lack of transportation. When parents can’t take them to extracurricular activities, they are forced to stay at home and often become isolated. With a vehicle, children are afforded the same opportunities as their peers. This includes playing organized sports, attending clubs and organizations, and socializing with friends.
Those with special physical or medical needs are also adversely affected when there is no reliable means of transportation. Whether it’s trips to the doctor’s office, out-of-town visits to specialists, or the need to attend specific groups or special programs, it’s almost impossible for parents to properly care for special needs children without a vehicle of their own. With a vehicle, they can improve their child’s condition and attend to their needs.
It doesn’t stop with caring for children, though. Many low-income families have multiple generations under the same roof. This often leaves parents and children to care for elderly grandparents and relatives. Without proper means of transportation, it’s nearly impossible to safely transport physically dependent individuals to appointments and treatments. With the appropriate vehicle, everything changes and caregivers can relieve some of their burden.
How VFC Works
Vehicles for Change is committed to changing lives through vehicle donations. As a nonprofit organization, it receives 99% of its car donations from the general public and then repairs some of them on-site to ensure they meet a standard of quality. Once they are brought to a level of quality, they are then awarded to program applicants and eligible families for as little as $950.
While all donations are accepted and used to benefit low-income families, not all vehicles are directly distributed to applicants. If a vehicle doesn’t meet the price point or qualifications Vehicles for Change is looking for, it can also be sold through the Freedom Wheels used-car lot. All proceeds then go toward helping repair other vehicles that will be awarded to families.
The VFC Mission
As any good nonprofit organization does, Vehicles for Change has a very specific set of core values that enable it to achieve its goal of empowering low-income families. These include being ethical and transparent, striving to meet the needs of others, taking pride in the work done, providing positively outrageous service, being innovative, and holding everyone accountable.
As a part of this commitment to making a real difference in the lives of low-income families, Vehicles for Change doesn’t take its program lightly. In fact, they require applicants to meet a number of specific requirements and specifications. To qualify for a vehicle, applicants are required to have a verifiable full-time job offer or already be working a minimum of 30 hours a week.
Applicants must have a driver’s license and be insurable (no DUIs or DWIs). Additionally, applicants cannot have preexisting vehicles in their household and must be drug free with no extensive criminal background. Financially, applicants are required to prove they can cover fees for tags, title, and taxes – as well as ongoing cost of ownership related to fuel, insurance, and minor maintenance. If the applicant is under the age of 25, he or she must have children.
The VFC Program
The VFC program awards vehicles to low-income families for around $950. Applicants must fall under a maximum income level and can only be referred through a sponsoring agency. One of the benefits is the low price and low-interest loan guarantee.
You Can Donate Today
If the words “donate a vehicle” strike a chord with you, you can make it happen today. It simply requires you to choose one of four different options. You can use an online form, download a print form, call Vehicles for Change directly, or drop off your vehicle.
The easiest method is to set up your donation online. This three-step process involves completing a form, scheduling a pickup, and meeting the tow truck (although donors are not required to be present at time of pick-up). The entire process usually takes less than three business days. If your car is awarded to a family, you will receive a tax receipt within 30 days of the pickup date. If it’s sent to auction or sold through Freedom Wheels, donors will receive a receipt within 30 days of the sale.
Regardless of whether you decide to donate a vehicle today or not, it’s important to understand the need for reliable transportation among low-income families in this country. Through car donation programs like Vehicles for Change, people are given a better chance at financial freedom and security.