Wheels4Hope Greensboro received the Volunteer Center of Greensboro’s Non-profit Volunteer Program of the Year award at their annual luncheon on October 12th at the Empire Room in Greensboro, NC.
We are honored to receive this award. It wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and hard work of all our volunteers.Here is an excerpt from The Volunteer Center of Greensboro nomination form that was submitted by our volunteer, Sheri Bergen;
What led me to nominate this organization were the heart-wrenching stories of the families they assist. Some people have a two-hour bus commute to jobs, and those with small children are often unable to take them to doctor visits or after-school activities. Many are paying a large portion of their salaries in taxis, bus or train fare.
Try to imagine just ONE DAY without your car! I did, and couldn’t begin to think how I would manage.
The web of volunteers required to get cars into the hands of deserving families is more complex than one would imagine. Wheels4Hope relies immensely on the support of volunteers. Many volunteers treat their time at the garage like it is their regular job. Some volunteers arrive the same day and time each week and work a full day. The employees and volunteers even all sit together to eat and socialize at lunch. They are a part of the Wheels4Hope family.
“There is a sense of family. Everyone is here for the same reason. We want to help those in need by doing what we enjoy.” said longtime volunteer, Larry Bowden.
With over 150 cars being donated each year, it takes a crew of volunteers with different skill sets to run the operations smoothly. Approximately 90-100 cars are assessed and worked on in a calendar year, some of which are sold to raise more funds with the remaining vehicles sold to recipients
The list of volunteer activities includes, but is not limited to:
- Car Runners – pick up donated cars, drive cars to/from partner garages
- Vehicle Assessors – assess donated vehicles following a check list and drive them to the state inspection location
- Mechanics – assess the vehicle with the 123-item checklist and make repairs; the mechanics also educate the new recipient on how to care for their car.
- Salesperson – volunteers to price the cars for public sale, shows those intended for public sale (to raise money for more cars) and maintains the advertising on the website and Craigslist
- Administrative – data entry, receptionist, filing
Wheels4Hope volunteers have shared with Executive Director, Elaine Pleasants the direct impact they receive from volunteering. They see a tangible result and feel the value of their efforts when they participate in a Wheels4Hope car blessing. Wheels4Hope honors volunteers by having them actively play a role in the car blessing ceremony. A car blessing is when a recipient takes ownership of a Program car. The Wheels4Hope staff, volunteers, the recipient, someone from their sponsoring agency, and the donors themselves gather around the car. We meet and greet each other, share a meaningful reading, and pray together.
“I am always delighted when I get the privilege to present the keys to a recipient. Presenting keys at a car blessing ties together the whole Wheels4Hope experience for me. They are recognized at each car blessing when a recipient is given the keys to their car. Many times the volunteers are involved,” said Mike Sweeney, a Wheels4Hope volunteer Mechanic and Salesman.
Wheels4Hope is answering an immediate need in our area. I could not be more proud of this organization and the hard work they are doing to help people become self-sufficient.