Goodwill Gives the “Keys” to Success With Wheels to Work Program


By Heather Listhartke

When Goodwill first began receiving vehicle donations, they weren’t sure what to do with them, but when they thought about how many people might have a hard time getting to their jobs due to unreliable cars, they had an idea and Wheels to Work was born. Wheels to Work is a program for low-income individuals who need a reliable vehicle to get to their job.

Goodwill has expanded their program and accepts most vehicles and will even accept a car that no longer runs. Working cars are used for the program, while vehicles with mechanical conditions are sold with funds going into the program.

By donating your vehicle, you give others the key to success, quite literally. Vehicle donations are tax deductible. You simply need the title. The Goodwill team will even pick up or tow your vehicle for free and handle all the paperwork.

Without reliable transportation, keeping a job can be a hurdle, but Wheels to Work aims to change that. Many in the middle Tennessee area, like Alena Sanders, have benefitted from the program. Alena had applied to more than 10 jobs before applying to Goodwill. Due to her background of volunteerism and persistence to continue learning, Goodwill hired her. She had worked for them for eight years, rising to the assistant manager position of the Smyrna Goodwill location. When her one vehicle broke down, she replaced it, but then that vehicle too ended up with a mechanical issue. She wasn’t able to find reliable transportation. That’s when Goodwill stepped in and gave Alena a 1998 Nissan Altima, which was donated by a generous McMinnville resident.

To qualify for the program, participants have to be employed, working at least 32 hours a week, have a valid driver’s license, and a good driving record. Once accepted to the program, they complete budget classes as well as classes on car maintenance and defensive driving classes.

Goodwill will take any type of vehicle from cars to vans to motorcycles, to even recreational vehicles. After the vehicle is sold, the form is sent over for tax deduction purposes. To find out more information or to donate, visit their website. You can help someone keep their job and provide more jobs by donating to Goodwill.

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