FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Love In the Name of Christ is putting the mobility in upward mobility.
The non-profit organization is giving cars to people moving from welfare to work. At a ceremony Wednesday in the Carol Brice Center it handed over its first two titles.
Debbie Wright walks up to the Ford LTD that that was given to her as part of Love In the Name of Christ's Achieving Independence in Mobility program Wednesday, April 18, 2001. The Vehicle Donation and Repair program, part of the A.I.M. program, helps people moving from welfare to work with their transportation barriers. "I think its awesome,"says Wright about her car and added, " it took alot of hard work, and I have alot farther to go."
AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, John Hagen
''When you think about what you are being given -- freedom,'' said Rachel Phillips, one of the title recipients.
Six other people are awaiting vehicle titles through the program, called the Vehicle Donation and Repair program, in which recipients must complete training in budgeting and car care.
''That's asking very little when you figure what a car payment would be,'' said Rene Egnaty, the other title recipient.
About 50 people attended the title transfer and graduation ceremony.
Phillips, who received a 1990 Buick Skylark, was referred to the program by her case manager after her truck broke down. She commutes from North Pole to Fairbanks and credits the car as having enabled her to work at her office assistant job and attend classes to earn an associate's degree.
Egnaty, who was given a 1989 Ford Escort, was able to go from part-time to full-time in her job at Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Alaska using her car. She can now also participate in community events with her son.
''This program grew out of someone donating a car,'' said Cornelia Stubblefield, project manager at Love INC. The eight vehicles in the program were donated by individuals and dealers, including Gene's Chrysler and A&B Auto Inc.
Candidates write a statement about themselves when applying for a car and are screened by a committee before acceptance. Love INC keeps liens on the vehicles until participants finish the program. Only one person so far has dropped out, and Love INC reclaimed the car.
(Distributed by The Associated Press)
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