Wheels Of Success Inc.

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Who It Helps: Working-poor families that lack a reliable vehicle to get them back and forth to work.

Where to Give: P.O. Box 340975, Tampa, 33694, 813-417-1090, www.wheelsofsuccess.com.

Life without a car in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties is more than difficult; it's damn near impossible. The Bay area has been designed around the automobile (if you have any doubt about this, consider the number of roads and the amount of expansion currently underway on those roads), and without a car you're pretty much screwed. For thousands of people living in Tampa Bay, no car means no job, and no job can mean big problems.

That's where Wheels of Success comes in. Founded in 2003, Wheels of Success (WoS) is "... dedicated to providing personal transportation solutions by partnering with the community in a circle of support to keep people working and sustain their independence." That "circle of support" starts with a staff made up entirely of volunteers, and includes private grants, fundraising activities, corporate donations and the support of normal folks just like yourself. (WoS accepts no government money, so your tax dollars are definitely not at work here.)

None of the vehicles and services WoS provides are free. In addition to "purchasing" their vehicle by paying a price set based upon their ability to pay, people helped by WoS complete five service hours a month as part of Wheel's "Pay It Forward" philosophy. WoS obtains all of its vehicles through purchase or donation; so if you have an extra car or two lying around, why not kick one over to these good folks?

Looking to the future, Wheels of Success hopes to establish a rental service for clients who's vehicles are under repair and have no other way of getting to work, and an oil-change service that is available to the community with the proceeds going back into WoS to help others.

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