Volunteers Keep 12 Family Cars on the Road
On hand for Heartland Community Action Agency's first Car Care Saturday in Hutchinson were, from left, Gary Constance, Zane Keller, Wyatt Keller, Humberto Delgado, C.J. Meyers, Joseph Patino, Joel Munoz, Chris Meyers, Kyle Joramo and Paul Mastous.
Heartland Community Action Agency's first Car Care Saturday in Hutchinson helped 12 families keep their cars in good working condition.
The Sept. 24 event was made possible by a partnership between Eagle Scout candidate C.J. Meyers, Central Minnesota Jobs and Training, the Workforce Center and the CAR Shop. Participants received a free oil change and a safety check on their vehicles. Some headlights and wiper blades also were changed as needed.
Rick Erickson, manager of Heartland Community Action's Helping People Get There car donation program, said local businesses donated supplies and treats.
"The volunteers gave up their Saturday to make a difference in the lives of 12 families," Erickson added. "The participants were grateful and all in all, it was a great day."
"Helping People Get There" - Our title sums it up well!
For most of us, reliable transportation is taken for granted. But for those living in poverty, lack of transportation is one of the greatest barriers to finding and maintaining gainful employment. This is especially true in rural areas, where public transportation is not as readily accessible. Many jobs - especially jobs with family-supporting benefits - are located in places that are physically distant from where people living in poverty reside. As vital as public transportation is in a community, for a family it is just not enough. Even in metro areas, meeting the daily demands of work, day care, errands, doctor appointments, etc. is very difficult without a car. For most families, having a vehicle greatly enhances the quality of life and is a crucial step to becoming self-sufficient.
Since Heartland has started the "Helping People Get There" in September 2008, over sixty families have received a vehicle. Heartland Community Action Agency has many stories to share about how each vehicle has changed the new owners' lives; one of these cars went to Anne, a young mother of two four-year-old twin boys and a two-year-old daughter. Anne was working as a CNA, and reported to her Employment Specialist that her car was breaking down and she was not going to be able to maintain her job if she did not have a vehicle to drive to work. Her Employment Specialist informed her about Heartland Community Action Agency's "Helping People Get There" program since Anne wouldn't qualify for a loan from a lending institution due to previous credit issues. Anne completed the necessary paperwork, obtained insurance, and worked on budgeting with the Transportation Coordinator. On February 10, 2009, Anne was the recipient of a Ford Aerostar van. This allowed her to keep her job and meet other demands as a parent. She gratefully told her Employment Specialist, "This is the best car that I have ever had." Now Anne is able to not only transport her three young children in a safe, reliable vehicle but no longer has to worry about the possibility of losing her job due to lack of transportation.
For more information about how you can lend a hand-up through the "Helping People Get There" program or to learn more about all of the programs offered by Heartland Community Action Agency, Inc. feel free to call our office at 320-235-0850.
Heartland Community Action is partnering with Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, and Renville county Human Services Agencies and their MFIP Employment Specialists.
Many local banks are participating in this exciting endeavor with us.
Together, we can help you achieve goals of self-sufficiency and independence.
Heartland Community Action Agency is an EOE/AA/ADA compliance organization.