BY STEPHANIE INLOW, DIRECTOR OF CARE CENTER SERVICES
The Care Center exists to transform the lives of our volunteers and Care Center friends. Over the last few months, you may have seen posts on social media regarding families receiving cars, as this is one of the many ways we are transforming lives in the Care Center. I would love to share with you more about the vision and impact of our Vehicle Services.
Vehicle Services is one of the four services of the Care Center. There are two different programs in vehicle services. One of the programs is Car Care Saturday, where we provide free oil changes and safety inspections. These services are offered to those in our Co-op Program, who are actively taking steps to live a more sustainable life.
The other part of Vehicle Services is where we have the joy of providing vehicles to Care Center friends who do not have transportation. Let me expand on how we are fortunate enough to be able to provide vehicles to our Care Center friends. Generous givers donate their vehicles to Grace Church and we inspect them to determine if they are worth giving to families in need. If we determined that they are not worth fixing, then we take them to auction and use that money to fund our ministry.
Over the last ministry year, 50 vehicles have been donated to Grace! We have been able to bless 10 families this past year with a vehicle. Here are a couple stories of how Grace Church has been impacting lives.
Right before Christmas last year we had our first car giveaway. We surprised 4 families with their very own vehicle. If you have ever watched the Oprah Show, “Christmas Giveaway,” it was like that but with more emotion and impact. To give you an idea of the reactions these families had, there was anything from falling to their knees and praising God, to crying uncontrollably in shock and disbelief. But because of generous donors these families can now live a more functional life.
In August, we were able to provide a handicapped accessible van to a single mother with twin boys, one of which is disabled. She shared with us how her son got a new wheelchair and it wouldn’t fit in her van. Every time she went somewhere she had to take the wheels off the chair to get it in the car. Lifting her son into the car was also causing her severe back pain that she had been living with for the last three years. She had been getting injections to help with the pain but Medicaid will no longer cover that procedure. When they received a vehicle, the joy and amazement on her and the kids’ faces was indescribable. For her to be able to push the wheelchair onto the lift and roll him into the car is truly going to change their lives for the better.
Each family we have provided a vehicle to has their own unique story, and to know that God has used Grace Church and the Care Center staff as instrument to bless these families is such an honor.
Thank you Grace Church for transforming families lives by donating your vehicles to Grace so other families may have reliable transportation. If you have a vehicle you would like to donate, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.