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By Angie Atalla | Tampa Bays 10 | December 8, 2007

Wheels of Success

Tampa, Florida - Terry Ann Martin is a single mom of 3 girls. So, you can probably imagine, she spends quite a bit of her time on the road in her minivan. It's a van that's traveled more than a few miles, but rolled into Terry's life just a short week ago. Terry's van was donated to Wheels of Success.

Wheels of Success founder Susan Jacobs says, "Usually what happens is when your car goes the next step is you lose your job and the next step is you become homeless. So, our goal is to reach people before that stage." Jacobs says people donate their vehicles to the organization. Those vehicles are then fixed up and matched up with people in need. She says, "When you donate your car we try to keep it in the car the county is donated so you know you're actually changing someone's life right where you live."

In Terry's case, her previous van was past the point of repair. She says she was actually getting physically sick from worrying about what would come next. She says her new van gives her a sense of freedom. She says, "(it's) a big sigh of relief, especially this time of year with the holidays coming. I can' imagine another big car repair on my other vehicle during the holiday season."

Terry was able to donate her old van which Wheels of Success will salvage for parts. She also donates some of her time. The organization asks those who've received vehicles to volunteer and help the next in line for a new ride.

Terry says, "if you can give back and it gives to you and shows others in your life like my children that things can work for the better good it's a wonderful thing. I'm so happy I found this organization and the way it played out for me, it's amazing!"

To be considered for a vehicle, you must be working full-time and be referred by an employer or social service agency. If you donate a vehicle, you'll get a tax receipt for fair market value. And remember... Wheels of Success can use your vehicle even if it's not running.

 
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