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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

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned about Wheels of Success at their 2012 RACE event. After hearing the touching stories of how they helped so many families, I knew I had to get involved. I became a board member shortly thereafter. I am proud to be a part of organization and to help them strive to acheive their mission of providing reliable transportation to families to keep them working!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Wheels of Success has helped hundreds of families and individuals in the Tampa Bay area. The organization's hand up, not a hand out approach has been a God send to these low income people who are struggling to hold down a job while raising families or continuing their education.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member, I've been able to see first-hand the good work that Wheels of Success performs in the community, and with little overhead. Leadership is committed and passionate about the Wheels mission.

veronica.life3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wheels of Success (WOS) is truly amazing and definitely a God Sent!!! WOS is an organization who serves in many ways helping lives change and never the same by providing cars to working individuals one car at a time. I am a survivor of domestic violence for five years now and Wheels of Success has become more than just a non-profit who really cares about individuals... we are family. They are very supportive family centered individuals teaming up for a great cause to support the advantage of truly overcoming adversities. I actively support and advocate back as well as encourage others to step up and be a voice. A blessing to know the confirmaton we all Win while God is Working the God Sents with one key detail at a time.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wheels has saved my life and allowed me to move forward. With my car from Wheels I've been able to get promoted in my job and have a better life.