WJTV News Channel 12 - Wheels4Hope launches ambitious program to give cars to those in

Wheels4Hope launches ambitious program to give cars to those in need

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

One day down - 30 more to go.

On Friday, Wheels4Hope kicked off its "31 cars in 31 days" campaign, giving away vehicles to people who really need a permanent ride.

But it will take the public's generosity to reach the final goal.

 For Stephanie Jaeger, getting the keys to her own car was the best early Christmas present she could receive.

Jaeger said she needed a car "to get back and forth to work and also just to gain my independence back."

"I'm relying on transportation rides from people," she said. "It was just better for me to get my own car."

Jaeger got the first car in the 31-car giveaway from Wheels4Hope, a faith-based non-profit car donation program in Raleigh. The program collects the donated cars and local mechanics donate their labor and parts to fix up the cars.

 Heather Smith of Wheels4Hope said the cars "mean everything" for the recipients.

"They mean independence. They mean being able to keep a job or improve employment," she said. "They mean not having to walk in the cold to get to the bus stop."

Jaeger admits she has made some poor choices. To her, the car means she can get a second job and move out her parent's house.

"I just made the wrong decisions - got evicted, cars taken away, got into the wrong situations," she said.

Now, she said, she is "on a great path."

Wheels4Hope wants to improve 30 more lives before Christmas but is 11 cars shy of its goal of 31 overall.

"We're still looking for 11 more cars for our 31 campaign," Smith said. "So we definitely need more donations. So if anyone has a vehicle that they are no longer using, if you would like to pass it on to someone who really needs it, we would love to have that donation."

Wheels4Hope has given away more than 1,500 cars to people in need in the area.

 You can find out more on their website here:

Http://www.wheels4hope.org/

Melanie Sanders

Melanie anchors the 6 PM news. Her "What's Next" series features an engaging approach to storytelling and highlights the leaders in innovation who are shaping our future. Check it out HERE! More>>

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