Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Community Support In Vermont

Good News Garage volunteer, Bridgette Graham, and I just returned from a trip to Southern Vermont. We stopped in to Hemmings Motor News in Bennington, to see how the MGB is coming along. We are planning to sell the refurbished car in a drawing starting next month. Craig Fitzgerald, the Hemmings editor, who is restoring the car, gave us a wonderful tour of the Hemming's collection of vintage vehicles. If you are ever in Bennington stop by Hemmings to see the collection. They will close it in the winter, so go soon.

Our next stop was Mount Snow Resort in West Dover, Vermont. Tony Resinski invited Good News Garage to come and set up an information booth at their employee orientation day. We were very impressed with the hospitality shown us. Mount Snow Resort is a beautful ski and board spot. The employee at the event were friendly. Many stopped by and asked good questions about our car donation program and about the tax deduction.

Tomorrow I will be attending the United Way's volunteer management class. I am always looking for ways to best support, encourage and acknowledge the incredible people who work with us.

Last week six IBM employees volunteered at Good News Garage as part of the United Ways' Day of Caring. We submitted a request for help in repairing the rail. It was chipping and looking very shabby. We want our entrance to be bright and welcoming. Now, thanks to the IBM volunteers, a nice coat of new paint, it looks welcoming and cheery!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Your car makes a huge difference

I love working at Good News Garage. I can see the impact on people's lives because of the cars we provide them.

I sit down with recipients every once and a while and chat with them to find out more about the people we are helping. There are a couple women that stand out.

One mom told me she had a terrible car accident where she broke her ankles and totaled her car. She was in the hospital for three months and had eight surgeries. While she was in the hospital she found out she was pregnant but because of the surgeries her baby was dead. She had a daughter already. Her boyfriend couldn't handle the situation and bailed. Her mother took care of her daughter but in another state so she couldn't see her child while she was in the hospital.

The day she could be release from the hospital, she didn't have anyone to pick her up, which is a requirement of the hospital. She lied and told the nurse her ride was there. She walked to the bus stop, using crutches. Fortunately the driver saw she was in rough shape so he drove her to her front door.

She was in the state's Reach Up program. They told her, like they tell all people who want a car from Good News Garage, that she had to be working or in job training 20 hours a week. This women wanted a car so bad she took her child to daycare on the bus then on crutches walked 10 blocks to work at a non-profit. She did it in all kinds of weather. She received a car from us then found a better paying job. She told me it really has changed her life. She was clearly very grateful.

She is such a bright warm down-to-earth person. I wonder how many people see her everyday and don't know the intense hardship she has been through. I wish the donor of her car knew how much of a difference they made.

Donate a car. Change a life. Receive a tax deduction. www.goodnewsgarage.org