Charleston, WV (WOWK) – A non-profit group helping to put West Virginia on the road to independence. Here’s how local organizations are providing much needed lifts to our needy neighbors.
Brandi Edwards has struggled with addiction in the past, but has turned to a dark chapter and turned the keys to a new car. Thanks to Good News Mountaineer Garage and their “key to success program,” people like Brandi have access to a reliable vehicle.
“I’m a long-term recovery person, I’ll be sober for three years in October and I’ve taken all the necessary steps to change every aspect of my life. So the more help I can get, the better,” Edwards said.
For 15 years, Ron Wills Jr. with Good News Mountaineer Garage has been dedicated to ensuring West Virginians are out of luck because they can’t afford a reliable vehicle.
“Transport is a huge problem in our state, we see about a third of the state which has public transport. So many people can’t go to work. We have a lot of people who are willing to work who aren’t really able to meet their needs,” Wills said.
Wills says the car is not free from the program and the recipient has to pay for it. However, thanks to the program, recipients like Edwards can do just that with low-interest loans for up to three years. According to Wills, donors also benefit from the program.
“We are partnering with dealers and do whatever we can to get the dealer to lower the price of the car so I can give them back a state tax credit in exchange for participating,” Wills said.
“You basically have to have a job, tax returns, pay stubs,” Edwards said. “There are some other conditions that you have to have 200% below the national poverty level of income, but it was really easy. It’s a great program, and I hope it really helps other people.”
Edwards says the gift of transportation is much more than just getting from Point A to Point B.
“It’s an all-wheel drive. It gives me every opportunity to make sure that when I say I’m going to be there, I can work without worrying about breaking down and making it for my family.” ,” said Edwards.
The Good News Mountaineer Garage also has a program that helps interested people apply for loans and learn about credit and vehicle purchases. Edwards’ new car was purchased through Stephens Auto Center.
For local and breaking news, weather alerts, videos and more, download the free WOWK 13 News app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.