Wheels of Success helps
get families on the right road
TAMPA - It was like Christmas morning,
when Katie Cox got the keys to her future.
"I'm 20 years old and I don't even know
how to drive," she said, clutching the
keys -- and her infant son Keiran. "It's
But the new mom is beaming. Her smile comes
from the fact that she knows that the 2000
Intrigue -- given to her through the "Wheels
of Success" program -- may have been someone's
old car, but it is her new way out of the slow
lane. One where she and her fiance Sam have
had to rely on public transportation to get
everywhere from job sites to pediatrician visits.
"[Having a car] makes it a lot easier," said
Cox. "I can spend a lot more time with
Kieran. I don't have to catch as many busses."
It is that sort of story that drew former
Buccaneer Linebacker Ryan Nece into this program.
Wheels of Success has helped put nearly 350
families into donated used -- but still usable
"They just kind of need a helping hand
to get them a hand up. Without this transportation
their life could become unravelled," said
"And the cars," he continued, "they
come from all over. It has been amazing."
And as exciting as it is for these first time
recipients, there are some folks even more
excited to come back.
"It helps a family. It helps the whole
community," said Lenore Hubbard, who spoke
with us about the program when she got her "new" Nissan
Altima last Labor Day.
And after 12 months of making $50 payments
and working community service hours, she got
the title to the car today.
"We've been able to move to a better
neighborhood," she said. "My kids
have been able to come to a better school.
I'm able to work more hours, instead of being
stuck on a bus all day long, and take myself
to school to get my bachelors degree in nursing."
That's the sort of follow-up Katie's hoping
to tell us about ... down the road ... next
of Success is Tampa Bay's only 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
providing a full range of transportation solutions, including
vehicle replacement; car repair; and licensing, car payment and
down payment assistance to low and moderate income working families.