I have been a part of the governing board for this organization for over 25yrs. Used to be the individual who received the donated vehicles and privileged to witness the years of gratitude & joy as recipients received their vehicle. Some donors not only donated road worthy vehicles but also stashed food, gifts for family members and certificates for oil changes in the trunks of the cars! We have also had serial car donors who over the years have donated several cars because they believed so much in the program. Not sure who she’d more tears - the recipient or me!! Been retired from my paid position for 9 years but just can’t let go of this organization. It’s dear to my heart.
Wheels to Work provides an amazing service in our community. With little to no administrative costs, the 100%-volunteer board matches donated vehicles to single-parent families so that they can get to work and/or school. When a family in Sioux Falls is getting a new car, or is downsizing, they can donate their car, and that car will be matched, to a family in need in our community.
Having a dependable car can really help a family finally break the difficult, difficult cycle of poverty.
It can help a person be a dependable, on-time worker for the job they already have. It can allow them to apply at higher-paying, or move up and transfer to another location their company has. Their employment and childcare prospects are no longer limited by how far the parent and their children are able to walk.
While most groups who take car donations will actually sell the car for funding, this group, run by volunteers, takes donated vehicles, and matches them with screened, deserving, working/studying single-parent-run families. Wheels to Work is truly making a difference in our city.
While public transportation is good, it is not very available in all the areas in our city, and can take hours to travel by bus. This can affect the hours a parent is able to work, limiting the money they can make, and making it even harder for companies in our town to fill the staffing needs they have.
A vehicle can help the parent to travel to college, if they are getting an education. It can help children get to school in the winter. When parents walk to work and back, children are at home alone for a longer period of time. In some cases, a vehicle can enable a parent to attend parent/teacher conferences for the first time. With a car, a parent who finds out their child at daycare is sick, can better seek healthcare; the parent can leave work in the day, pick up the sick child from school or daycare, and bring that child to the doctor, and then take them home afterward. So, it helps the whole family, plus employers, a lot. Love this idea and this group.