New mother receives a donated car from Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington

New mother receives a donated car from Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington.

Commuting. Appointments. Shopping. School. Life today is a blur of schedules and activities. Obligations are hard enough to manage when we can jump into our cars and head out on our own schedule. Imagine having to factor in public transportation and transit time on top of it all because you can’t afford to buy a car. Prioritizing becomes a challenge and you may only be able to fulfill your most basic needs. Many low-income residents in the Northern Virginia area are faced with difficult choices on a daily basis due to a lack of reliable transportation.

Enter Catholic Charities’ Car Ministry. The Car Ministry was founded over two decades ago by Father John O’Hara and longtime Catholic Charities employee Harry Burke to help low-income families obtain vehicles. The program accepts donations of both working and non-operational cars. Catholic Charities gives working cars, along with their titles, to qualified recipients to own.  Non-operational cars are sold, and proceeds go to our volunteer-led programs.

How do these cars transform lives? Consider the story of Jay, a single mother of two. Jay has a teenage son who requires the use of a wheelchair. She has to take him to school and therapy, and she needed a vehicle that accommodates his chair. Jay also commutes to a job in Washington, D.C., and is studying to be an esthetician. Though she completed the classroom work, she was unable to get to the location for her practical requirement without a car.

Jay discovered the Car Ministry through a Google search. After applying, she received a 2010 Subaru Forester SUV in November 2016. Jay says the car has been a “major blessing” and “an amazing early birthday present.”  She is able to care for her son’s needs, even being able to get to markets with higher quality food. Jay is now on track to complete her coursework and graduate in March 2017. Jay stressed what a valuable tool a car can be, especially for single parents, and expressed deep appreciation for the program as a “platform for success.”

Fifty-six vehicles have been donated to the Car Ministry in 2016, but demand exceeds supply. In this season of giving, won’t you consider donating your old or unwanted car or truck to Catholic Charities Car Ministry? The program will also accept motorcycles, trailered boats, and RVs. All donations are tax deductible.

For more information or to donate your vehicle, contact Catholic Charities Car Ministry at cars@ccda.net or (703)841-3898. Find us on the web at www.ccda.net.

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