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Wheels for Work

Program Impact in the Words of Recipients

"I just wanted to say that we are very grateful and blessed with the car. It has been very helpful. We managed to go to the grocery, to church, immunization appointment for my daughters, Ames Public Library, Ada Hayden Park, free meals pick up at Sawyer elementary school, etc. We are very thankful to the donor and Wheels for Work for that!"

"This car has been wonderful for my family. It runs smoothly. I am thankful and grateful for the help in getting me a car."

"It has led us to doing family activities, doctor appointments, being able to keep a job."

"Able to get kids picked up on time and getting to work on time."

"It is so wonderful to have independence back again. Without this program, I would still be struggling. Bless everyone who has helped my family."

"Able to visit parents and parents [grandparents] able to meet children [for the first time ever]. Making it easier to get to and from work as well."

"We have been able to get around with no problem and I am so grateful for the car. Thank you."

"She [the car] has been very wonderful. She has given us the opportunity to give back to the community that has given us a lot of help and support. We are blessed and grateful to have her, and thanks to you for that!"

These are just a few of the first-person accounts of the difference the Wheels for Work program is making in the lives of Story County families! Thanks to all who have donated their vehicles and the collaborative partners who make this program possible.

What We Do

Ames Ford has partnered with United Way of Story County to bring Wheels For Work to Story County. Ames Ford accepts donated vehicles into the program to be given a safety inspection and repaired to donate to a family in need of a vehicle. Giving a family a car makes child care, school, jobs, groceries, and medical appointments easily accessible – things that are so easily taken for granted by those who have never had to be without a vehicle.

Please note: Evaluations are conducted with vehicle recipients 6-months after receipt of their vehicle and again 12-months after receipt. As a result, there is a slight lag in some of our data reporting.

Who We Serve

Families who receive a vehicle qualify in all the following ways:

  • Live in Story County
  • Have children between the ages of birth and 18 living in the home
  • Under 150% of poverty
  • Have the ability to budget for vehicle maintenance, fuel, and car insurance
  • Employed or full-time student
  • Have a valid Iowa driver’s license
  • In the last two years, do not have an OWI or convicted of a violent crime, and have no more than two moving violations
  • Household does not own a running vehicle

Ames Ford accepts donated vehicles into the program to be given a safety inspection and repaired.

ACCESS, Central Iowa Community Services, Mid-Iowa Community Action, and The Salvation Army take applications and work directly with the clients on details to receive a vehicle.

How We Impact

"From bottom of my heart I really appreciate  your outstanding kindness and support !!"

Families who have received vehicles have told us many positive stories about how owning a vehicle has improved their quality of life. In addition to being able to keep their job and income, which is the purpose of the program, many have been able to increase the hours they work due to having reliable transportation.

Many have also reported that having a vehicle saves them a great amount of time that was typically spent on the bus making multiple trips each week to the grocery store, since they were unable to bring a full week's worth of groceries back on the bus. Those families have been able to spend more quality time together.

Families have had increased access to medical appointments, especially for those who have appointments outside of the community, including trips to specialized care in Iowa City.

Children's lives are being enriched by the increased opportunities they have because of safe, reliable transportation. Parents have shared that they've been able to take their children to the county fair, apple orchard, the zoo, and parks. Children have been able to attend swimming lessons and participate in school activities, such as sports and band. All of these things were not possible for these children before their parents received a car from this program.

Clear Impact Suite is an easy-to-use, web-based software platform that helps your staff collaborate with external stakeholders and community partners by utilizing the combination of data collection, performance reporting, and program planning.

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