Without a statewide mass transit system, the need for an automobile is more acute in Vermont than in many other areas of the country. Especially in our most rural towns. And for many people, affording a reliable vehicle can be out of reach. Good News Garage, a nonprofit that refurbishes donated vehicles and gives them to Vermonters in need, is reporting lower vehicle donations this winter. But not a lower need for cars.
Amy Barcomb, assistant director of operations at Good News Garage spoke with Vermont Edition about the reason her organization has seen a drop in donations.
Barcomb says that they have received 20 percent less vehicles in 2018 from the previous year. She surmised that the cyclical aspect of donating and the new tax laws that doubled the standard deduction has led to the dropoff.
She noted that for those in need, having a vehicle rather than finding rides when available from co-workers or family members can mean an economic boost for the recipient. "Once they have a car, they can work a set schedule or more hours," Barcomb said. Having a car also allows them to travel for additional training and thus earn more and receive promotions.
Barcomb said that the current stretch between January and April is when Good News Garage receives the least donations but the demand is very high.
Broadcast live on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.
Good News Garage is a VPR underwriter.
Listen to the radio clip on VPR's website, here