Wheels4Hope Expands

PJ Staff Report

In its twelfth year, Wheels4Hope has expanded outside of the triangle area to extend its reach to triad residents. The second Wheels4Hope site is located in Greensboro, with the organization aiming to further its program across the state by 2015.

Wheels4Hope is a 501(c)(3) faith-based organization that provides donated cars to families in need of reliable transportation. Wheels4Hope repairs used vehicles to sell at a cost of $500 to qualified recipients.

One of the reasons Wheels4Hope was able to expand to a second location was due to its unique funding model. According to John Bush, Executive Director, “Wheels4Hope is built on a business model that takes existing community resources (used cars) and converts them into assets for the betterment of all. Simply put, donated cars that can be repaired and placed back into the community serve our mission; cars that cannot be used in that manner are sold (these cars fund our mission).”

This largely self-funding model has fostered the capital growth the organization needed in order to expand. “In Wake County alone, Wheels4Hope was able to place 85 program cars in 2011, dramatically changing over 200 lives (our 2012 goal is 100 program cars),” said Bush.

Wheels4Hope cites “a clear mission that addresses a specific, tangible need in our community” as a key component in enabling the organization to grow. Along with a clear mission, Bush believes that the streamlined business practices such as web based data tracking systems to manage processes that Wheels4Hope uses has kept the business not only sustainable, but profitable.

Bush says, “A final yet critical piece of our self-funding model is that those receiving a program car are required to buy their car – a $500 investment for a person making $8-12/hour is substantial, but promotes the positive values of ownership and a great deal of pride.” The one-time investment from clients furthers the organization’s mission and provides valuable resources to future clients in need of dependable transportation.

For further information about Wheels4Hope, go to www.wheels4hope.org or contact John Bush at jbush@wheels4hope.org

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