Donate Almost any Vehicle
Many people in our area are without transportation. Public transportation is available in some places,
but it can be expensive, and it doesn't always work for people's schedules. Without a vehicle a lot of
people cannot take care of daily necessities, i.e. getting to work, school, church, medical appointments,
and social functions, not to mention buying groceries or having the reassurance of a dependable vehicle
in case of emergencies. Many people need to get the children to day care first and THEN to work.
The reasons for needing transportation are endless. Numerous government studies have shown that the
lack of a dependable vehicle is the biggest limiting factor to overcoming
MVAC's Wheel Get There (WGT) program began receiving donated vehicles and offering tax deductions to
donors since March 1998 through a grant from the McKnight Foundation. The vehicles were reconditioned
and then sold to people receiving public assistance from MFIP (MN Family Investment Program). People
bought the vehicles through a guaranteed loan, which helped them build or rebuild a positive credit
history at the bank. The goal was to provide reliable, affordable transportation so people to get to
work and become self-reliant. Almost 150 families got a car through the initial WGT program.
Then, in 2001, MVAC received a grant from the State of Minnesota, which allowed low-income people
to purchase a car up to $3500 through a guaranteed loan program. The grant paid for half the cost
of the car. Over 350 families got dependable vehicles through the WGT2 program. The state budget
crisis of 2003 ended WGT2 when the grant was no longer available.
But, MVAC’s experience with providing personal transportation for people experiencing low income
had made it clear that it worked! Many people who participated in WGT2 went on to make their lives
better and directly attributed their success to having a reliable vehicle. So, MVAC set out to
design a car program which was not reliant on grant dollars. Thus, WGT3 was born. Under this program,
people experiencing low income lease a vehicle and meet monthly with the WGT Vehicle Advisor. They get
experience and education in managing their vehicle maintenance needs, and every car used in the
WGT3 program comes with a 30-day warranty. Wheel Get There Three’s design was good enough to win
it the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-profit Innovation in 2004.