Having a car is an essential for most people, and for disabled people it can be a lifeline to independent living. Depending on the nature of their disability, disabled people might not be able to walk or use public transport, but still be able to drive a car. Charities recognise this, and some repair vehicles for the disabled at reduced rates or free.
Free Charity Cars
Free Charity Cars takes donations of unwanted cars, and repairs and services them. The cars are then given to people in need, including those with disabilities. The program runs on an application system. Anyone wanting to receive a free car must create a profile and fill out an application that tells their story. Once a donated car becomes available in a particular area, the charity's staff reviews local applications and decides who should receive the car. The charity also helps people who have a car but need assistance with repairs and maintenance.
Opportunity Cars is a group of programs dedicated to providing free vehicles, loans for vehicles and help with repair costs for those in need. It accepts donated cars and repairs them before giving away the vehicles. The focus is on helping those considered the working poor, which includes many disabled people. Opportunity Cars provides help through charities and non-profit across the U.S., and also through government agencies. To apply for a car or help with repairs, applicants must contact their local program.
Cars4Christmas is a charity that provides transportation for those in need, including disabled people. The group accepts donated cars, then repairs and services them before giving them to people who need transportation but can't afford to pay for it. The group also provides grants to help with repairs for people who need help paying for them.
Many local groups also repair cars for the disabled, including church groups, community organisations and auto repair shops that donate some of their services to charity. In Pocatello, Idaho, for example, church volunteers who are experienced in car repair provide free labour for those who can't afford to fix their cars. In Arizona, a group of auto repair shops known as the Auto Repair Good Guys Foundation supplies free labour. In Wisconsin, Wheels to Work donates cars and offers free repairs to those in need, using local automotive technology students to supply the labour.