Impacting Real People Everyday
Everyone remembers the MTV program “MTV Cribs,” where celebrities would show you all around their houses and brag about all of the things they were proud of.
Thanks to a Minneapolis-based non-profit program, women are feeling like celebrities since the 1980s. The Newgate School has provided cars for working mothers through it’s “Wheels for Women” program.
In the spirit of MTV’s Cribs, the latest Wheels for Women recipient proudly shows us all around her new ride.
“I’m Vannesia, and this is my ride.” Says Vannesia Thomas with a massive smile on her face standing in front of her new-to-her car. “I love the color. It feels like it’s one of those colors that blends in with other cars. I love it, and it’s so spacious. In the back of the car, we have beautiful leather seats and a bunch of space. I have three kids, so there’s just enough room for all of us. I have three boys. They’re very vibrant, energetic, loving, and they keep me on top of my toes.
“I did have another car” explains Vannesia, “that I bought four or five months ago. I knew that it had problems, but I needed a car. I didn’t have a lot of money, but I needed a car. It had so many problems that I had to visit the shop a number of times. I just couldn’t get it fixed, and one day it just broke down. I spent well over $700 just to get it fixed. What I love about the front of the car is that it has a wood grain finish. That’s not something I’d expect from a 2004, but it looks really good. The car is super huge in the front seat. To have a company do something like this is awesome. It means a lot to me.”
“In hearing Vannesia’s story,” says Richard Herod III of White Bear Mitsubishi, “how she is a mother of three who bought a car, spent a bunch of money in repairs, and then that car broke down, leaving her with no way to get to work. That’s a troubling situation. The fact that the Newgate School has a program where people can donate their vehicles, and then students come there, tuition-free, to learn how to fix cars, and those cars are then donated to mothers who need a vehicle is pretty awesome. Vehicles that aren’t donated are sold to help fund the program. It’s the best karma circle I’ve ever been part of.
Michael Scott, an instructor at The Newgate School, explains, “on occasion hen we give a car away, we still have unforeseeable things that will happen. In this case, a car is running too cold. As we get into winter weather, the thermostat says it’s running too cold. She can come back in and we’ll fix it for free. We usually give away a car and then support that person for the next three to six months, handing any repairs we may not have caught on its final inspection.
Richard Herod III is optimistic about the future of the program: “Our goal for 2020 is to double the number of cars we give to women. We are so proud to partner with the Newgate School. We believe with your help; we can get more cars donated.”
If you are interested in donating a car or need a vehicle, make sure to contact the Newgate School or White Bear Mitsubishi. You can be part of a movement that not only helps single mothers obtain reliable and safe transportation but a program that teaches at-risk adults valuable skills that will better their living situations.