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Success Stories

Success Story: Mary

Mary

Mary a single mother was referred to Wheels of Success in 2016 by Metropolitan Ministries. At the time she was struggling to get to work without a reliable vehicle and struggling to support herself andher young daughter.

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Success Story: Donna

Donna

"Wheels of Success has made a great impact on my life and I would like to thank them as well as the donors of the car that has changed my children's and my life in so many ways. We were provided with a gate way to success and health. This vehicle has provided me with a way of not worrying about how I would have to continually have to take time off from work to take two to three buses to get to a doctor's appointment.

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Success Story: Jenn

Michael

In April 2016, Wheels placed Jenn and her son in a "new-to-her" 2002 Buick Century Ltd. Jenn took her key and found success! Her car helped her find a home of her own, a new job where she now makes $20 an hour, and has also returned to school. Jenn even paid her "wheels" off early. We are proud of Jenn knowing that her future is in her good hands.

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Success Story: Gillian
From Applicant to Employee

Michael

Gillian is a single mother in Pinellas County and while most of her kids have grown up, she started over with her son, Brandon who is 7 years old. He is the light of her life and her whole world but struggles with autism and has special therapeutic needs. Without a vehicle she had to depend on friends and her older children for rides EVERYWHERE. She could not stand being a burden on anyone, every time she had to ask her friends and family for rides it caused her a lot of anxiety.

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Success Story: Wanda

Wanda has diabetes and was walking long distances to catch her bus in Florida's extreme high temperatures. People with diabetes need to be extra careful when temperatures climb dramatically. Extreme heat and heavy activity in heat negatively affects blood sugar control.

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Success Story: Michael
Vehicles for Veterans

Michael

Before receiving his Wheels' vehicle Michael, a dedicated, hardworking veteran took 3 buses, spending over 2.5 hrs. getting to work. Struggling to get to work in order to support his family took its toll in terms of stress and lack of confidence. Riding the bus for so many hours a day left little quality time to spend with his family.

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Success Story: Tory
Dedication, Hard Work and Wheels

Tory

Tory through her dedication and hard work has completed our 1 year program by making her monthly $125 payments and volunteer hours. Now Tory has earned the title to her "New to Her" 2009 Toyota Camry donated by State Farm that is still running strong.

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Emma and Her Wheels: In Her Own Words- How a Reliable Vehicle Changed My Life

"The vehicle from Wheels of Success has blessed our family so much. My husband is able to work extra shifts. My 4 year old daughter and I no longer need to cross 60/Brandon Blvd. to make our bus from school to home. She can ride in the car to school, church, museum days, birthday parties, and sleep overs. We no longer have to walk to the grocery store with our stroller or pay for Uber. We can drive to Dr. Appts saving missed time from work. I can stay for late parent teacher conference night's or meetings and drive home without worrying about how I will get home in the dark.

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Tyrone Gets His Title: Vehicles for Veterans Recipient

Tyrone left the grocery store and carefully loaded the handlebars of his bike with 3 bags on each side for perfect balance. Then guiding his bike through the hectic traffic, he arrived at the bus stop just as the bus pulled up. When the double doors opened, he quickly shifted the bags from his handlebars to his arms and began to lift his bicycle into the crowded bus. But it was not meant to be. Unfortunately, there is a 2 bike limit on the bus and two other cyclists had already boarded so there was no room for his bike. He had to step down, rebalance his groceries and his bike, back out of the closing doors, and wait 45 minutes for the next bus. It was going to be another one of those days.

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Megal

Megal Gets His Keys: Vehicles for Veterans Recipient

Megal left the United States Army as a field artillery crew member after serving a tour in Afghanistan and a tour in Iraq. Initially, Megal moved to Colorado to be with his family. Since his car had broken down, he left it in Colorado and moved to Atlanta to support his wife and two boys while working at a manufacturing plant. He and his wife shared a vehicle until the plant closed, his wife left for Florida with the car and he was homeless. Though it took a while, Megal made it to Florida to be the Dad his children needed.

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D.A.

D.A.'s Story

With good timing Metropolitan Ministries referred D.A., an employee, to Wheels after she found herself caring for her ailing parents and four children without a car. Despite not having a car, D.A. walked, used the bus and took cabs as necessary to ensure that her loved ones were cared for.

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Mohammed

Mohammed's Story

Mohammed is a veteran who was in desperate need of a vehicle to drive back and forth from Tampa to Lakeland for work and to take his wife to her doctor's appointments to monitor her high-risk pregnancy. Having to borrow a family member's car was becoming burdensome so he needed reliable transportation of his own.

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WEDU 2016 Be More Brilliant AT&T Innovation Award

Wheels of Success and GTE Award Winning Innovation

Wheels of Success won WEDU's 2016 Be More Brilliant AT&T Innovation Award on February 4, 2016 for its ABC-GTE Financial 0% Interest Financing program. The award, sponsored by AT&T, focuses on initiatives, projects and services that are unique, creative or innovative.

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Nicole Marchman 2016 Lightning Community Hero

Nicole Marchman Honored as a 2016 Lightning Community Hero

The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Nicole Marchman as the 31st Lightning Community Hero of the 2015-16 season during the first period of the Winnipeg Jets game. Marchman, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program donated the money to Wheels of Success.

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Falana's Story
Falana was referred to Wheels of Success by a Pinellas County official, the result of a phone call she made to ask for help to get a car. As a young adult who had been in 36 foster homes by the time she was eighteen, she had learned from an early age that you have to speak up and ask for what you need.

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Joseph's Story
When Joseph was promoted to Kitchen Restaurant Department Manager (RDM) over a year ago his supervisor made it very clear that in order to keep this position, Joseph would need to get a car. The vehicle he received from Wheels of Success on Labor Day not only helped Joseph keep his promotion, but he also received a raise and moved to a restaurant closer to his home.

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Anthony's Story
Huge congratulations to Anthony who is now a registered state and national EMT! Anthony credits his ability to complete his training for becoming an emergency medical technician to having reliable transportation.

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Carmen's Story
When Carmen was referred to Wheels of Success, she was was recovering from a surgery that left her unable to work for several months. Her time away from work resulted in the loss of her vehicle. Upon return to work after initial recovery, Carmen's biggest challenge was transportation.

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Monica's Story
When Monica was referred to Wheels of Success, she was living with her young children at one of Metropolitan Ministries' shelters. Through hard work and determination, Monica completed the program and went on to obtain a job with Laser Spine Institute.

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LaDelma's Story
Can ONE vehicle change the life of an individual? Just ask LaDelma. Above is when she received her vehicle 2 years ago.

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Amanda's Story
Amanda's life has changed dramatically since getting the keys to her 2007 Chevy Impala, which she could not have afforded without Wheels for Success. Having a reliable vehicle has allowed Amanda to focus her energies on exceeding in her career instead of how she was going to pay for car repairs.

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Andrea's Story
Andrea's life has dramatically changed since she received her car. Having spent most of her young life in the foster care system, Andrea worked as a Youth Coordinator helping clients who were aging out of foster care system. During her time as a Youth Coordinator, Ready For Life, a Wheels of Success community service partner, submitted her application for a car.

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Britani's Story
Life's a lot simpler for the 21-year-old accounting student and MacDonald Training Center employee. "Now I don't have to walk to take two buses to get to and from work. It's hot and humid, and I couldn't wear my heels and look professional."

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Jamaica's Story
"When I was 12, I couldn't imagine the journey I would soon take in my life. Nothing will erase that dreadful day that took place in November 2002. From that day on, I faced joy, neglect, abuse, and many bittersweet moments in foster care"

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Martinique's Story
Martinique is a single mother who is working hard to make a better life for herself and her three children.  She is trained in phlebotomy and as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), and she recently landed a job at a doctor’s office in Riverview.

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Melissa and Nicole's Story
Wheels of Success partnered with Connected by 25, Hillsborough Kids, Inc., Camelot Community Care and Ready for Life to implement Wheels to the Future, a program to assist youth aging out of foster care with their transportation needs.

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Honor's Story
After losing her home, Honor moved to Florida to start over to make a better life for herself and her three daughters. She was offered a good job with a pharmaceutical company, but it was on the opposite side of town. Because she did not have a car, Honor struggled to make it to work each day by walking in the dark in an unsafe area of town to catch two different buses each way.

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Al's Story
After finding an hourly job outside of his chosen profession, Al had a new challenge: getting to work. Because Al has a disability which makes it difficult for him to walk long distances and he and his family do not live near a bus line, he had to rely on his neighbors, friends and co-workers for rides.

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Mareyame's Story
Mareyame and her 3-year-old son, Cameron, had to start their lives over after Mareyame’s boyfriend was killed last year. They moved to a new apartment and Mareyame found a job with Easter Seals, but without her own car, Mareyame was having trouble getting her son to daycare and herself to work on time.

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Katie's Story
Katie and her two young children snuck out in the middle of the night and hopped a Greyhound bus to flee from their abuser. She stayed with family until she found a job and a place to call her own. Her employer calls Katie a "role model" and an "exemplary employee."

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Aja's Story
Aja is a single mother of two elementary school-aged children who receives no child support from their father. She has been working for Goodwill Industries for 5 years but was in danger of losing her job at the time she was referred to Wheels of Success.

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Jada's Story
When Jada became estranged from her parents after they found out their unmarried daughter was pregnant, she decided she could make it on her own. She would work and take care of her baby by herself ... people do it all the time.

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One Family's Story
A year ago, the Walshes were living the typical suburban life. They were a two-income, two-car family living in a comfortable, affordable home. Life was hectic and happy with their four school-aged boys.
The Walshes could have been your next-door neighbors.

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Deron's Story
Deron is a bright young man with a positive attitude and many goals for himself. He is currently attending college and is working for the Department of Children and Families. Deron's teen years, however, were not typical. Deron is one of many local youths aging out of the foster care system.

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Fiona's Story
After years of abuse and threats on her life, Fiona and her young son fled their home in the middle of the night. She took nothing with her except a laundry basket filled with clothes and a few toys.

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Cynthia's Story
Cynthia had it all—a happy marriage, two beautiful children and a successful career. Then Cynthia's world was shattered by addiction. She and her family suffered many hardships, and Cynthia eventually ended up in prison. When she was released three years later, she began to rebuild her life.

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Jessica's Story
Jessica is a single mother with three young children, two of whom are in diapers. When she left an abusive situation, she sought assistance through CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse).

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Carlos's Story
Carlos is a strong, proud man--proud of his wife and two children, proud of his job with the St. Petersburg Police Department, and proud to serve his country in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Carlos is an Army reservist who was called away from his family and his job to serve his country for two separate tours of duty, totaling 2 1/2 years. During his service, he suffered a gunshot wound to his arm and partial hearing loss from an IED that exploded too close for comfort. > continue

Tannia's Story
Tannia (whose name has been changed in this story to protect her privacy) was in a troubled and violent relationship. For her safety and the safety of her child, she knew she had to leave her abuser, but this also meant leaving behind her home and most of her possessions. 
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Keisha's Story
Keisha, a soft-spoken single mother of four, was in trouble. She had no home, no car, and no job, but she never lost her faith. Her prayers were answered when she found help from the non-profit organizations Starting Right, Now and Wheels of Success. > continue

  Maritza's Story
When Maritza made the decision to end an abusive relationship, she needed to leave quickly to protect herself and her three sons. Homeless and jobless, she turned to the non-profit agency Starting Right, Now for support. They were able to help Maritza find a home and a job, and then they referred her to Wheels of Success.
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  Maria's Story
Maria L. was driving a Chevy Lumina she had purchased from a friend for $500. She was putting too much money into the car to keep it in the road. That's when Maria heard about Wheels of Success through Genesis, a counseling agency that assists with credit management and ultimately was referred to Wheels through the Homeless Female Veterans' Program. continue >
  Paulette's Story
Paulette J. had no vehicle. For two years she and her grandson Hunter (then 5 years old) walked to everything ... work, the grocery store, laundry mat, doctors' appointments, and church. Hunter did not understand why he they could not go places and do things like other families did together. continue >
  Chris' Story
Chris was truly grateful to be re-united with his 12-year-old son but lamented what his transportation limitations stole from their lives before they received a 1994 Ford Escort from WOS. "I believe in Wheels of Success and what it does," he says. "I am happy I was chosen because we have been helped in a lot of ways." ... continue >
  Carla's Story
Carla says that Wheels of Success gave her family the perfect Halloween treat when they gave her a 2001 Daewood Leganza in October. Before that, she didn’t know how many more of life’s cruel tricks she could endure ... continue >
  Carmen's Story
Carmen officially received her 2000 Ford Taurus at the Wheels of Success fundraiser at Tampa Bay Downs in February. She was recommended to the organization by her pastor at New Hope Alliance in Lutz ... continue >
  Eloise's Story
After working for Easter Seals for eight years, Eloise fell sick. She soon personified the when-it-rain-it-pours syndrome! A single mother with four of five children under her roof, Eloise saw her troubles multiply ... continue >
  Linda's Story
Linda learned about WOS through a relative. This proud recipient says, “I previously worked as a concierge, so I have an inquiring mind and a need to know everything possible about a service.” She quickly discovered Wheels’ ... continue >
  Jennie's Story
Wheels of Success has changed my life. I heard about this program from my dad, who listens to talk radio. He told me to try it and see if they can help. At that time I had two cars that did not run, and no hope of getting them fixed ... continue >
  Paula's Story
Mere words can not express how I felt this morning, knowing that Hannah and I did not have to get up at 6 a.m. and ride the bus to get her to school. Six hours just to get her to school ... continue >
  Alesia's Story
Alesia S. knew life would change when she and her family relocated from California to Florida—but she had no idea how much. While driving across the country, their SUV rolled over on the interstate ... continue >
  Ebonie's Story
Before discovering Wheels of Success, Ebonie B. was stretched between her child's and employer's needs. Lacking personal transportation, she relied on the well-meaning but often inefficient city bus system ... continue >
  Wendy's Story
Last Thanksgiving, Wendy O. and her family started a road trip to see relatives. On the way, their vehicle caught fire and was destroyed ... continue >
  Rosa's Story
When I came to Tampa a few years ago, I was in love. I moved here to be with my boyfriend, to create a new life for our children and us. A year later, I discovered that he’d been seeing another woman the entire time I’d been here ... continue >
Laura's Story
I was referred to Wheels of Success by a temporary staffing agency. I was being offered a permanent job at substantially more money but my car had broken down and needed repair and I was to start the new job in 3 days ... continue >
Tasha's Story
Wheels of Success has made me a success! After coming to Tampa from last year's hurricanes, as if starting a new life wasn't hard enough, my car broke down beyond repair. For nearly a year, my son and I took the bus to work ... continue >
 
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