If you have a car, think about how often you use it. Think about how much you depend on it to get you where you need to be. Wheels4Hope is a non-profit, faith-based car donation organization that helps change lives. They are doing it with support from the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.
For Shountina Buie, a car was life-changing. Tears streamed down her face as she read a letter from the donor.
“Being a single mom and trying to get to work and take care of my daughter. And I just thank them. I really do," said Buie.
“But really it was her that did everything she needed to do. It was us getting a donated car, preparing that car for her, but she did everything else to get that car. And she really is one of our great success stories,” said Elaine Pleasants, the executive director of Wheels4Hope Executive Director, Elaine Pleasants.
Buie’s success began with sobriety.
“When I was out there drinking and drugging, it didn't matter about having a car. It didn't matter that my daughter wasn't getting to do the normal things that kids do,” said Buie. She completed the program at Mary's House, became a Certified Nursing Assistant, and then was referred to Wheels4Hope.
“Sometimes I would have to walk maybe three, four miles to get to my job,” Buie said.
Now, Buie has more time to devote to her daughter. “She likes to read. She's in a book club. So it’s no problem when she says ‘Mom I need to stay after school.’ You know? Things like that -- there's a dance after school,” Buie said.
Happy endings, like Buie's, are possible with support from the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. According to Pleasants, “Being associated with the community foundation has been fantastic for us. They helped us in the beginning. They helped us get the word out. Some of the funds they donated to us we were able to use for marketing and community awareness.”
Every Tuesday and Thursday, volunteers from Guilford County donate their time to work on cars in the Greensboro garage. Richard Clegg is one of the volunteers who regularly gives his time and mechanical expertise to Wheels4Hope. All of the donated cars undergo an inspection.
“I look at the struts up here to make sure they're not leaking. Then we look at the exhaust system," Clegg said.
If the cars pass the inspections, they change lives when they are sold to people like Buie for $500.00.
“When you set your mind to it, good things happen. I have my C.N.A., I have a car, and I have a steady job, all these things," said Buie.
Wheels4Hope has three locations in North Carolina: Greensboro, Raleigh, and Asheville. The hope is to someday expand to Charlotte, according to Pleasants.