Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wheels4Hope Asheville to host second car dedication - March 20

Wheels4Hope is excited to announce their second local car placement as they launch Wheels4Hope in Asheville, on  Friday, March 20, 2015 from 1:00-1:30 PM, at Community Action Opportunities, located at 25 Gaston Street, Asheville, NC  28801.

The car recipient is Nikita Smart and her 11-year old daughter who were referred to Wheels4Hope by Community Action Opportunities. Nikita Smart will drive away in a recently donated and repaired 1996 Honda Accord, following a car dedication ceremony. At this event, they will also welcome their new full-time Coordinator of Wheels4Hope Asheville, Jamie Beasley, former Director of Development and Communications at Mountain BizWorks.

Reliable transportation matters and many in our community don’t have it. It can mean the difference between poverty and the middle class. A car that starts opens the door to education, employment, and an improved quality of life. In partnership with established, local nonprofit organizations, Wheels4Hope Asheville aims to work toward a solution to this problem, one donated car at a time.

About the recipient:
Nikita is a hard-working, single mother who moved to Asheville in 2009 determined to improve her family’s quality of life. Over the last 5 years, one step at a time, she has done just that. She found an apartment in late 2010. Unable to find work, she volunteered her time for causes in the community which led to a part-time, stipend position. Eager to gain full-time employment, she attended classes at AB-Tech and completed the Office Professional Certification. Nikita was referred to Wheels4Hope by Community Action Opportunities where she is a participating in the Life Works program - an intensive, employment-focused program that works to eliminate barriers toward self-sufficiency. 

“This car will be such an asset to me and my daughter," says Nikita. "I will be able to make her orchestra recitals and drop her off at Girl Scout Camp like most parents do. This will also allow me to look for full-time work in my field in the surrounding area since transportation will no longer be a problem for me. This opportunity will bless so many others than just my family.” 

Wheels4Hope is a local car donation program that takes donated cars, repairs them and works with community partner agencies to get the cars to people who need reliable transportation. Donated cars are repaired by volunteers (currently Organic Mechanic is donating their time and space) and placed by referral through agencies in the local Asheville area such as Community Action Opportunities. These cars are not given away – they are sold for $500 to promote ownership and accountability (the average value of the cars is in the $2,000 - 4,000 range). It’s a hand up, not a hand out.

The Asheville affiliate of Wheels4Hope is based on an innovative model developed in Raleigh and Greensboro, NC 15 years ago to respond to the need for reliable transportation. In early 2014, a group of non-profit workers, a local business owner and mechanic, a faith leader, and community volunteers formed a committee in Asheville to explore the possibility of creating Wheels4Hope Asheville. Thanks in part to a People in Need grant from The Community Foundation of WNC with support from the Dogwood Fund and an anonymous Community Foundation of WNC fund holder, Wheels4Hope Asheville has recently hired Jamie Beasley to serve as the organization’s first full-time staff member.

More donated cars are needed - contact Jamie Beasley at ­­­­Jamie@Wheels4Hope.org or (828) 676-5150.

Community Action Opportunities is a nonprofit organization helping people who live on limited incomes transform their lives. hey work to deliver comprehensive and innovative, high quality services; build and support strong partnerships; and mobilize community action to create positive change.


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