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We’ve heard many stories about Wheels of Success and how they have helped victims of domestic violence with transportation issues. The latest story comes from “Delpha,” a young mother who found herself suddenly caring for her deceased sister’s large family of children. Laura Ankenbruck and the Family Law Team of Bay Area Legal Services were helping Delpha with the legal issues arising from a prior violent relationship and her getting custody of her nieces and nephews. But with a big family, an economy car wouldn’t do for their transportation needs.

> Read the entire testimonial from ChildNet/SafeNet Collaborative.

My name is Amanda, and I am writing this letter to thank Bay Area Legal Services for all they have done for me and my family. I particularly want to thank Laura Inkabruke and her immediate staff for referring me to the Wheels of Success program. WOS was able to provide me with a 1998 Ford Windstar van that is large enough to accommodate my entire family.

WOS/Bay Area Legal Recipient/Client – Amanda B.

> Click here to read the entire testimonial.

Our initial donation was $5,000. Wheels of Success was able to help 6 of our employees secure reliable transportation with in a few months. As a result, these employees were promoted to better positions within the company. The program was so successful and word spread so rapidly within our organization, that we made another donation of $5,000 in the 3rd quarter. To date, at least 10 employees have benefited from this wonderful organization. The partnership has far exceeded our expectations.

Allison Casper Adams - Caspers Company

> Click here to read the entire testimonial.

I serve on the board for "Wheels of Success" as the 1st Vice President. I personally have had first hand experience as a child that lived with a single mother that worked 12 hour days, struggling to make ends meet while falling into the trap of having to continually invest money into cars that weren’t fully functional, at mechanic shops that were far less than reputable. The time, effort, and money wasted on fruitless car repairs often lead functional, competent, working adults down a one-way street to unemployment, welfare and feelings of despair. With the help of the community, these families are able to get “on the road again”, making a successful U-turn in a short amount of time with minimal impact to their families. Our organization works to assist working families with transportation solutions, such as car repairs, vehicle replacement, related licensing services, and car care classes. I can tell you from first hand experience, that a little "help" from your community can go a long way!

Heather Steinfeld - St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Who knew that a casual meeting with a woman on a mission and a need for me to want to give back to the community would hit so close to home. A phone call from a good friend turned into a cry for financial help -- and I felt terrible that I didn't have the money to help her with her desperate situation. Her only mode of transportation had broken down and they needed $1,800 to fix it or she was going to lose her job and The only source of family income for her family of 4. I quickly realized that Wheels of Success may be able to help. After endless conversations, phone calls, contacts and extensive effort on the Founder Susan Jacobs part -- this family was back on the road again within days! And, only weeks later my friend got a promotion and a much needed Raise. Thanks go out to Susan Jacobs and the Wheels volunteers and contributors who could make this happen.

Sandra Maggio - Palm Harbor, Florida USA

As a volunteer for a number of community charitable organizations, I am acutely aware of personal transportation's role in keeping struggling members of our community employed and healthy. I have watched Susan Jacobs work her charitable magic in another organization where her giving spirit, unbridled energy, creativity, and downright "doggedness" in making things happen...makes it happen! I was delighted when Susan turned her attention to this unmet community need. Her seed of an idea has already sprouted and is bearing fruit with the families she has helped. What she needs is more community support to help her very worthy organization spread its roots into a firm community foundation. In her single-minded determination, this one woman is doing what each of us should be doing--helping those struggling to be contributing society members through the self-sufficiency they desire. I say give "Wheels" the engine it needs to be a driving force in our community--support! support! support!!!

Sharon Schur - Tampa, FL, USA

I have been acquainted with Wheels of Success since its inception. I have seen how it has progressed with only private donations, fundraising efforts, and an all volunteer staff. Susan Jacobs works 24/7 for this organization that she has founded. Adequate transportation is something that most of us take for granted. Susan knows that for many it can mean something so much more, a means to a secure job, to keeping food on the table. In today's world, it takes a "driving force" to achieve the American Dream. Wheels of Success is an organization that could help so many with adequate community support and funding.

Frank Sanchez - Tampa, FL USA

I've followed Wheels of Success since its inception and have witnessed the tremendous impact it has on families in need. Susan Jacobs' vision and drive changes lives.

Alisa Jenkins - Clearwater, FL USA

Wheels of Success is such a worthwhile organization for those in need of car care services. Tampa Connection, a leadership group, chose Wheels of Success as one of its projects for the 2004-2005 year and assigned a group of leaders and professionals in the Tampa Bay area to help it accomplish part of its mission. Tampa Connection did so because we believe in the work that Wheels of Success has and will accomplish and the need for the organization in the Tampa community.

Tampa Connection - Tampa, Florida

It is with firsthand, personal experience that I write of Wheels of Success being a "driving force" for my family. I am a single mother whose only source of income is a full-time position with another non-profit organization in Tampa. I had a car with over 230,000 miles on it and was planning to sell it this past spring when the camshaft seal broke, motor mounts broke, the transmission was going out as there was NO reverse gear, and the water pump went out all within a short period of time. I spent over $1000 on parts alone trying to keep transportation for my family. Although I had never heard of Wheels of Success, I got a referral to them, filled out their on-line application in a matter of minutes, as their websit is very user-friendly. My prayers were answered when the referral to Wheels turned my transportation woes into the reality of becoming the proud owner of the newest and nicest vehicle I've ever owned! Within a month Susan Jacobs had transferred the title of a 1999 Grand Am SE to me and I met the requirement of getting full coverage insurance transferred from my old car to the new one. Susan even drove me to the tag office where I signed over my title to Wheels, donating a car that it has since been determined to be "fixable" once Wheels of Success raises the funds for the repair. Knowing that I contributed to help another family get "on the road again" makes me not just the "needy" but affords me the priceless, precious opportunity to become a giver and one who contributes to keeping the "pay it forward" philosophy alive and working. There are not enough words to give the deserved praise to Susan Jacobs, the Board members and all the volunteers who contribute to Wheels of Success. This organization has changed my family's transportation issues from hopeless and desperate to a situation full of gratitude, hope and drams being fulfilled. My financial obligation is based on ability to pay, making car ownership a reality and not just a dream! Donating a vehicle to "pay it forward" completes the circle, giving me an indescribable feeling of worth in the community and you can't put a price tag on that!! Thank you to Wheels of Success and Susan Jacobs!

Beth Montalvo - Tampa, FL USA

What a great need Wheels of Success is filling! As I work with graduates of the Uplift U® -- a self-sufficiency program at Metropolitan Ministries, I have used the assistance of Wheels of Success. The services provided address one of the most critical needs that low-income and at-risk people have -- transportation. Many, many, hardworking folks are vulnerable to job loss due to poor transportation or no transportation. The problem can be further exacerbated by the inability to pay for needed repairs when a car breaks down. Wheels of Success recently came through in the time of greatest need for one of our graduates. Her van's transmission became inoperable and the repairs would have been too costly and not worth it for the long run. Because of "Wheels," she was provided with a reliable vehicle and able to get back to work, support her family and continue with her schooling. She has already made the first, very affordable payment on her "new" car. What an invaluable service Wheels of Success provides. Thank you so much Susan Jacobs and Wheels of Success!

Nancy Loomis - Tampa, FL USA
Community Liaison Metropolitan Ministries Community of Promise

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the blessing that Susan Jacobs and Wheels of Success has provided for my family. I was feeling very hopeless this past Spring when my van died one more time on the side of the road and I wasn't sure it could be resuscitated this time. I knew the angels had to be driving right along with us every time that I put my children into my vehicle. I am a single Mom of four children and I didn't even have the funds to check out the vehicle to see what issue it was encounting this time. I wasn't sure it was even worth investing any more money into it. I was without transportation for the duration of the summer until my sons heard a radio advertisement for Wheels of Success and wrote down the website. I was certain it was my angel speaking to my sons that afternoon over the airways. I needed to return to my job as an hourly teacher and resume my college courses to get my degree to become an Elementary Teacher. The local mass transit system wasn't able to get my daughter to before school care and myself to work in the early AM on time. I was finally able to stop spinning my wheels over my transportation issue and get myself on the road to a solution. The current Christmas Season has hearts open to giving, but...Susan Jacobs has a big enough heart that is able to keep giving all year long. I am a nurturing and giving person, and I had to humble myself in order to receive the gift of kindness from Wheels of Success. Susan Jacobs has allowed me my dignity to pay it forward with a hand that goes up and not just a hand out. I am thankful for my angels that help me on the road to my purpose driven life - taking care of children.

Kathleen Rankin - Largo, Florida

The beautiful thing about Wheels of Success is that it's not about helping people on whom we have given up. It's about enabling people to move past obstacles and regain productivity. It's not just a handout. Recipients of the vehicles are expected to pay the program back in some way. This shared responsibility is a wonderful thing that is totally consistant with our American ideals. Wheels of Success is also a uniquely American program in that it addresses our dependence on the automobile for success in every area of our lives. Like it or not you need a car to get by in most of our country. That certainly is true in Tampa, Florida. Hats off to Wheels of Success for addressing these very real issues in such an appropriate and culturally consistant manner.

Mark Fitzgerald - Tampa, Florida, USA

Working in the staffing industry for almost six years now, I know firsthand how impossible it is to keep employment without reliable transportation. Two of Tampa's main industries are distribution and manufacturing, both of which require employees to work second shifts. The bus schedule here does not permit them to do this as it does not run past 9:00 in the evening. The employee is able to get to work but not return home; often making them rely on friends or family to pick them up. We have partnered with this organization because we see the fit it has with us and the difference it makes in people's lives. We hope more companies consider getting on board, making Wheels of Success part of an Employee Assistance Program that saves companies from firing good employees who have transportation issues, and therefore, increasing their bottom line by not wasting valuable resources that have been spent on hiring and training these people.

Dena Zorzos - Tampa, Florida US

To whom it may concern:
I have found The Wheels of Success’s mission to be a well implemented one. All too often, the Not for Profit realm is convoluted by organizations with a poor utility for implementing there mission. Perhaps because of financial reasoning, reasoning bore out of a need to cater to the demands and rigors of multiple funders. In my field, such reasoning can be quite tragic. I work for a domestic violence organization who works very closely with The Wheels of Success. While working with The Wheels of Success, I have seen first hand how large of an impact this small up and coming Not for Profit can make. You see, domestic violence is connected to financial conditions. As such, individuals in domestic violence relationships often stay in them because of financial strain. Further, in a city like Tampa, a city with unreliable public transit, the simplest task can become very difficult. Whether it be taking your child to school, or going to the grocery; in Tampa, such tasks can be time consuming. Particularly, if one is dependent on public transportation. Again, another reason that individuals may endure abusive relationships, as their significant other may own transportation which they share. As stated earlier, I have witnessed the impact of The Wheels of Success. I have seen a mother and her dependents receive a chance to break away from the cycle of violence. How, you might ask, by simply gaining affordable reliable transportation. Reliable transportation, something so many of us take for granted. We don’t realize how empowered we are by or personal vehicles. A mother can now transport her children to and from school, as well as transport herself to and from work. She can now work a full day, spend less money on daycare, and spend more money on housing and food. For those skeptics, try it. Take a bus for the day, a full day. Attempt your daily routine without your car. Experience how difficult it can be to maintain a productive day. Point, The Wheels of Success follows through with what it sets out to do. For those of you who have had the pleasure of meeting Susan Jacobs, you truly know the meaning of determination. The Wheels of Success is built on that concept, the concept of determination, determination to help those in need. I have yet to see The Wheels of Success loose sight of that.

Jonathan Vanden - Tampa, Florida U.S.A.

 
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