BURLINGTON, Vt. —
This week's Project Community Champion, Good News Garage is being highlighted for bridging an economic divide around the region.
"You and I take it for granted," lead vehicle processor Wanda Robar said. "We jump in the car, we turn it on and off we go."
The nonprofit works to make transportation more accessible for those who need it most, like Stephanie LeBeau.
LeBeau had lost her housing after losing her job.
It was Good News Garage that would turn her life around.
"I started crying," LeBeau said. "It was unbelievable to know I was going to have transportation after not having transportation for a year and a half."
LeBeau got her car in 2015 through the Wheels to Work program.
She is now working for the same company that gave her a fresh start.
"It's changed my life in so many ways," LeBeau said. "I would never have been able to come here to interview without that original car."
She very recently was able to afford buying her own car, which she calls a "blessing."
Robar said she loves seeing these kind of success stories play out before her eyes.
"They want to be self-sufficient and the one thing that stands in their way is a vehicle," she said. "They've earned their way back from a far-off place."
Robar said they've given out more than 30 cars so far this year, with a goal of 75 total.
Handing over the keys is her favorite part.
"They know the freedom is right around the corner and the keys are in my hand and they're about to be in theirs," she said. "No one's more excited than that."
GNG runs several other programs, including "Ready to Go," which helps those who might not qualify to receive a car.
Ready To Go covers the entire state of Vermont and provides rides to and from employment and to and from childcare so that you may continue to work.
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