Good News Garage: Changing Lives

Good News Garage provides the keys to a better life.

Someone’s cast-off car becomes someone else’s gateway to success through Good News Garage

(Note: I’m not affiliated with Good News Garage in any way)

Imagine needing to safely get to and from work , drop off/pick  up the kids from childcare, come home, go to night school, come back home and do it again the next day. Throw in a doctor’s appointment or other errand and you will have pulled off what just about every other busy American does on a given day.

Imagine doing that without a car of your own and very few transportation options.

Enter Good News Garage. Since its inception in 1996, the agency has donated refurbished cars to 4400 clients and counting. The Vermont-based agency relies on donations of used vehicles from CT, MA, NH, VT, RI, and ME. To say this program changes lives is an understatement. I think their most recent statistics tell the story much better than I ever could:

  • 89% of recipients reported greater economic opportunities
  • 86% reported better quality of life since receiving their vehicle
  • 83% consider their cars to be safe and reliable 12 months later

Check out some of their additional statistics and annual report. Minds blown and lives changed.

Transportation Deserts

This program is a boon to those in the New England area who lack access to regular public transit or whose circumstances make public transit impractical (distance, location,  multiple jobs, medical needs, child care needs) A safe and reliable car is the difference between economic mobility and economic hardship for low-income working people.

Mass transit is an inefficient and expensive afterthought in many parts of the country, and I’m glad that GNG has recognized this and taken action. With the recent shift of poverty from the city to the suburbs, hopping the bus to work is no longer a viable option.Suburban areas have little to no reliable mass transit.

Furthermore, a low-wage worker who spends hours on mass transit to and from work every day stands less of a chance of continuing their education, seeking supplemental employment, or attending job training/school.

GNG’s goal is to close that gap and provide their clients with equal footing in the process.

Humble gifts

Once a GNG client completes the application and vetting process, they’re matched with a vehicle that suits their needs and family size. All donated vehicles receive a 72-point inspection and are refurbished.

Something as simple as a donated car has the power to  change lives. As someone who dabbles in the automotive industry (I have a “day job” and a part-time business to keep the lights on and a roof over my head) it’s easy to get seduced by the many shiny toys that grace my social media feeds.

That’s not realistic for me, however.

And so it is for GNG clients as well. Something as humble as well-tended low-mileage  used car can be a catalyst for better employment opportunities, access to childcare, health care, and less time spent in transit. For someone without a car, a donated early-2000s model might as well be a sparkling 2016 model.

Why there isn’t a program like this in every state escapes me. If you’d like to find out more about Good News Garage and the various programs they offer, visit their website.

Better yet, if you’re a New England resident with a well-maintained used car, consider donating it to GNG. Your old car can become someone’s ticket to economic stability and better quality of life. Your act of kindness can change the course of someone’s life for the better.

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