A Goodwill employee in Shelbyville will receive a donated vehicle through the nonprofit’s Wheels-to-Work program on April 4. The Wheels-to-Work Program was established to help Goodwill employees and clients who need reliable transportation to get to work.
Goodwill President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas will present Mary Entsminger, a retail associate at the Shelbyville Goodwill store, with the keys to a used but clean and reliable automobile at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 4. The ceremony will take place at the Goodwill Career Solutions Center at a 937 Herman St. in Nashville.
Mary Entsminger has been a retail associate at Goodwill’s Shelbyville store for nearly 10 years. Mary was born prematurely and has struggled with a learning disability and memory problems her whole life. Even as a child, she dreamed of working at Goodwill, because she wanted to be like her sister who worked at a department store, and she had been told Goodwill trained people with disabilities to learn to do that kind of work. Her district manager says Mary is diligent, hard-working and has made tremendous improvement since she first began at Goodwill. Only one thing is holding Mary back: a lack of transportation. Mary walks a mile to work every day, even in the rain and snow, because she can’t afford a car. She says having a vehicle would make her feel more secure and improve her life in many ways.
Ten people applied to receive a donated vehicle through the Wheels-to-Work program in 2017. A selection committee made up of Goodwill employees from various departments helped to determine who was eligible to participate. To qualify for the program, participants had to meet certain qualifications, such as being employed at least 32 hours, having a valid driver’s license and good driving record.
After being notified of acceptance into the program, participants had to complete training classes on budgeting, defensive driving and car maintenance. Recipients also pay a $200 administrative fee. Budgeting classes were provided at no cost by Fifth Third Bank, while the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department provided the defensive driving classes. One car has already been presented this year.
Several employees remain on a waiting list to receive an automobile through the Wheels-to-Work program. People who choose to donate vehicles to Goodwill support not only the Wheels-to-Work program but also Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. More information can be found at www.giveit2goodwill.org/vehicles.
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