FOX 13: Have Wheels, Will Travel

TAMPA – Twenty Bay Area families have new wheels to get around this Labor Day weekend. Wheels of Success held their third annual Labor Day Giveaway Monday to keep working families working.

Sharon Newson was all smiles as she sat in her new car.

“I am so tired of taking the bus three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening,” she said.

Susan Jacobs founded Wheels of Success five years ago. She says the program is a win-win situation for everyone. The organization aims to keep working families working by helping them out with a used car.

“We really try to screen for people who this is going to make a difference in terms of helping them move up to the next place in their life,” Jacobs offered.

The cars aren’t free though. Recipients pay $40 per month on average for a year. After a year, they get the title. They also give three hours of their time back to the organization every month.

“It invests them in the program. They realize they’re just as important now for the next family to get their vehicle,” added Jacobs.

Suquana Mallett has two little boys at home. Daycare eats up a good chunk of her paycheck. She may not be the first to drive the deep purple Pontiac she has the keys to, but to her it’s as good as new.

“It’ll get me from point A to point B, so I’m good,” said Mallett.

The organization runs off donations from individuals and some car dealerships. They then raise the funds to get the cars fixed. Jacobs says it costs about $1,000 to fix a car on average – a small price that can make a big difference.

“Already it’s changed my life just knowing Thursday last week I got one more day on the bus, just one more day on the bus. It’s just exciting, I can’t wait,” raved Newson.

Wheels of Success helps about 10 families every month. They’d like to help even more and are always looking for donations whether it’s an entire car or just a part. If you’d like to make a donation you can call them at (813) 490-9443 or go to their website:

FOX 13