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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Wheels of Success, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Transportation Assistance

Mission: Wheels of Success helps keep working people working so that they are able to support themselves and provide for their families.

Results: Throughout ten years of community support, Wheels of Success has provided over 1000 transportation related services, including over 500 vehicles to Tampa Bay area families. Our goal is to raise funds to get more families on the road by providing vehicles to applicants who have been “waiting for wheels” and to help others by paying for needed repairs to vehicles they already own.

Target demographics: working families in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties who need reliable transportation to get to work, specifically including Veterans, Youth Aging out of Foster CAre, Patient Caregivers and Domestic Violence Survivors

Direct beneficiaries per year: 125-150

Geographic areas served: Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties

Programs: providing vehicles, car repairs and car care classes, as well as financial assistance with licensing, automobile insurance, car payments and down payments

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

A vehicle from Wheels of Success has blessed our family so much. My husband is able to work extra shifts at work. My 4 year old daughter and I no longer need to cross 60/Brandon Blvd. to make our bus from school to home. She can ride in the car to school, church, museum days, birthday parties, and sleep overs. We no longer have to walk to the grocery store with our stroller or pay for Uber. We can drive to the grocery store and Dr. Appts. I can stay for late parent teacher conference night's or meetings and drive home without worrying about how I will get home in the dark.

This week I am signing our daughter up for gymnastics at the ymca. Ymca' s in Brandon are not accessible by city bus. Last spring to do the free swim lessons during spring break. I walked 6 miles one day to get my daughter to and from the ymca by stroller. The rest of the week I paid for Uber to get her there. This time, it is a joy to be able to drive her to gymnastics class at the ymca.

Our dog was sick a few weeks ago. We drove to The Humane Society and waited at the clinic for cheaper Medical care. Without the car it would have taken all day to ride buses out there and more uncomfortable for our sick dog. Or we would have spent money on uber. Money we needed for our sick dog.

This car has blessed our family immensely. Thank you.

Emma

Client Served

Rating: 5

To those inquiring,
Hello, and hope were having a great day, i was asked by Wheels Of Success to write a paragraph as to how recieving my car has changed my life...well for starters i was taking the bus everyday carrying about 40-90 pounds on my back. As an electronics repair tech i needed to always carry tools, laptop, cards, hydration, snacks, and sometimes many toher things like customer laptops and customer cellphones. it would take me hours to get a part and facilitate a repair however since recieving my vehicle from wheels of success not only have i been able to sustain my job at local business 4CcellFix inc (located 4803 w hillsborough ave; ive even achieved another job that im training for manager or shift lead for at Burger King (quality dining). its been tough work and alot of strain on my body but it will all pay off and does pay of for me an my family when i make my bills and am able to even splurge a bit on a pair of shoes or an outfit. i have enoied taking my mother (who has arthritus in her knees) from fletcher ave to downtown tampa to the restraunt SHE works at at 5am so she dosent have to take a 9.6 mile bus ride.... its also nice to be able to take my sister to school if shes running late. i find myself happier and less depressed and i find myself to be more punctual than ive ever been (and i dont speed as i defanately cant afford a speeding ticket.) i now have an oppritunity to run repair out of a samll local business for myself while still working at burger king since they are training me for morning shift and yes i will still recieve the minimum hours to be part of the program (Wheels of Succes). i am very grateful and very happy with my actions and the help ive recieved over the past few months. thank you all who are involved. for any questions comments or concerns, feel free to write text call or email. thank you.

Steven

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am forever grateful for the Wheels of Success program and the kind women who work tirelessly to ensure that they help as many people as possible! The Wheels of Success program gifted me with a beautiful van for me and my 5 children and it is only through their generosity that I am to transport myself to work and my children to school each day in a safe and reliable vehicle. The Wheels of Success has been such a blessing during this difficult time in my life and I am very excited to pay it forward so that others can receive the same blessing. Thank you Wheels of Success, you mean so much to so many!

Layla

1

Donor

Rating: 1

We donated a vehicle to Wheels of Success and had to hound them to try and find out what happened to it. Nine months later, we still don't know. We will not be donating to them again.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started out as a volunteer for Wheels of Success. After a year volunteering I was so inspired by the mission, that I applied to be a Board Member. There is nothing else in our area doing what Wheels does to help the underserved. Providing transportation is essential to keeping people working, and engaged with their families. In addition to getting to work, our clients are able to get to their doctor, grocery, children's schools, just to name a few. Donating a car is a plus plus decision. Wheels gets to help a family and the donor gets the write off.

2 Luis5

Board Member

Rating: 5

WE are supported financially by donations from our local community, fund racing events and board of directors direct contribution such as myself. We are not supported directly by either the federal or state government. What set us apart from all other non-profits is that we manage to help over 150 families annually with only two full time and two part time employees, for every dollar donated to Wheels of Success, 90 cents goes directly to our clients, our Board of Directors are the finest in the world as they are a working board not just for the recognition. All of our clients are required to provide 3 hours a month of volunteer work in order to help the next person waiting for assistance. In addition we provide training in both car maintenance and financial literacy to all of our clients; all our clients "Pay-forward" toward the repairs of their vehicle, the vehicle is free so that the donor would get full tax credit in their donation regardless of the condition of the donated vehicle.
LUIS A. DE LA TORRE

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Wheels of Success (WOS) is a wonderful organization, providing a variety of transportation services that changes lives. Individual's referred for services to WOS consistently rank their experience as life changing for them individually and for their family members. WOS's clients are able to secure jobs and advance in their careers, thanks to reliable transportation, the absence of which may have impeded these opportunities. In addition, WOS's "pay it forward" philosophy encourages those individuals to express their appreciation by giving back to the community as WOS volunteers. The significant impact to the community provided by WOS and its "pay it forward" philosophy both make me proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered my time with Wheels of Success on many occasions and I never have felt that it was time wasted. They were precise and to the issue when it came to planning a volunteer project. No one stood idly by and watched others work and it was a great solidarity moment and community gathering that made you feel like you truly helped others. I will volunteer with Wheels of Success anytime they ask and I have the time. It is a worth while organization and worth my time.

Amber

1

Donor

Rating: 5

If you are looking for an organization you can get excited about, one that is making a significant impact in the Tampa Bay community, look no further! I have been a believer in Wheels of Success (WOS) since the very beginning, when Founder & CEO, Susan Jacobs, was forming the non-profit back in 2003. After serving as the first Board Secretary, I moved to the Advisory Committee, where I have continued to stay involved, both as a donor and volunteer. By providing a hand up, rather than a hand out, through a variety of transportation services, WOS is changing lives, both for the individual referred for services by an employer or community agency, as well as for their family members. With their "pay it forward" philosophy, those helped by WOS are able to express their gratitude by volunteering with the organization, which also helps control administrative/operations expenses.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received a vehicle through Wheels of Success a year ago. The vehicle wasn't perfect and it had its problems, but the care and attention that I received from the staff was unprecedented. They insured that I had reliable transportation throughout my entire year with the program! My life turned completely around so much in that one year that I was able to trade my car back into the Organization and I was able to purchase another one through a different program offered and began building positive credit. I owe my successes and getting back on my feet to this organization. I would have never been able to do half of the things I have without their assistance and standing behind me with things were tough.

1 Bobby9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for over a month after my friend told me about this organization. I recently lost my job, and this organization opened its door to allow me to use their resources to help me find a job, while I assisted with my office and IT skills. I saw numerous people come in and out, all of them excited about being able to get to and from work. It’s amazing to see how having a car can really change someone’s life. They are not relining on public transportation or spending way more than they can afford for a used car. This organization is all about helping people in the community. I’m so proud to be a part of this great organization and seeing the effects it has on the people in the community. As I get ready to start my new job, I still plan to make time to continue to volunteer to help others as they helped me.

1 Allison44

Donor

Rating: 5

When serving as the President of The Junior League of Tampa, I had the opportunity to give the keys of an automobile to a deserving youth aging out of foster care and getting her life back together. It was wonderful to be able to change her life and provide the funds for her vehicle.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently moved to tampa with my elderly father and daughter. We have had no transportation for about two years. My oldest brother found this organization that helps people like me. I came in to do my interview and I absolutely love rebecca and susan. They are truly angels from God. They love their job. I have been put into a vehicle and I can finally drop my daughter off to school. Get to work. Actually now I can have a lttle mommy time. Thank you wheels of success for everything you do.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Coming into this program I was extremely surprised and humbled by how much they cared for my day to day life. They cared about how much I struggled to get to work and take my daughter to school, how it was an uphill battle for me to get on my feet every day and do what I needed to do to keep earning money and keep my daughter healthy.

From meeting Susan and Rebecca for the first time I knew I could believe in them and this program. Coming to the ceremony to receive my car was very surreal. Driving away from the event with my car felt like I was driving away from all my burdens. I was so relieved and happy to show my little girl our new way around.

Since receiving my car I have been able to bring my life to a steady cruise. I can make it to work everyday, I can make it to work events I am required to attend. I can bring my daughter to school and pick her up on time. I can bring her to the park and get home in time to cook dinner. On the weekends I can run my errands and have fun with my daughter.

Every day I get into my car, I remember when it used to me getting on a bike, me worrying about if it was going to make it across the bridge or me worrying about my ride getting there on time. Every morning before I start my day, I remember Susan and Rebecca and I feel like everything is getting better.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have never been so grateful to be a part of a organization such as Wheels Of Success. It has changed my life in many ways. i recently got a car from this amazing program. I am now able to transport myself back and forth to work after 10 years of riding the bus with 3 kids. I spent hours on the bus daily, in the rain, ext. I was so tired . Spent many days praying for a car. It is now with such a great program that i have a car. Since this time i have gained more hours at work and am able to do simple things the grocery store, kids activities and actually get to work on time. A car has made my life so less stressful and i am forever grateful for the program. People lives are forever changed by just the people who care enough to help others succeed in life and sometimes all we need is a little help such as a car.

Jennifer303

Donor

Rating: 5

Wheels of success removes one of the most common barriers to success -- a car to go to work in!! It's simple and yet so necessary. Wheels is a game changer for so many people and a springboard to greater things for so many. The fact that it's a pay-it-forward arrangement makes it even more special.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to be involved with this organization. Peoples lives are forever changed by making reliable transportation a reality for families struggling to make ends meet. Keep up the great work Susan and team!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I learned of Wheels of Success, Inc. when a friend asked me to volunteer and an event in which it was participating. I commuted with the CEO Susan Jacobs and was amazed at her commitment to helping people succeed. Wheels of Success offers more than a car by helping their clients – veterans, caregivers, the working poor and children aging out of foster care - to accomplish their goals. Each client has the opportunity to purchase their vehicle through a no-interest financing program that accepts volunteer time for payments. The program lasts only a year and allows the client to walk away with the title to his or her “new car” and a sense of achievement. I have heard the stories of success from the program which have brought tears to my eyes. Wheels of Success is a wonderful charity and is an excellent example of how the community can empower their own.

LaDelma H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wheels for success has helped me and my children greatly. I am single mom trying to make on my own wheels for success made it possible for me to get to work so i can take care of my kids. by giving me a min Van. i am so happy and my kids are to.

Client Served

Rating: 4

a great program with an awesome mission. Its nice to know that other Americans are in the business of helping one another at a time of trouble. Every effort to assist was greatly appreciated and I would recommend WOS to my community as a valuable resource.