When the Thornburn family received the gift of an automobile earlier this month, the event marked a notable milestone for Good News Garage. The donation marked the 5,000th vehicle awarded by the nonprofit that provides affordable and reliable transportation options for people in need.
The keys were handed over during a ceremony Nov. 13 at the Good News Garage location in Burlington. The event took place during the state’s newly proclaimed Transportation Access Awareness Week, Nov. 11 to 17. The proclamation cites the role that access to reliable transportation plays in the struggle to move out of poverty and towards self-sufficiency.
The 5,000th car was awarded through Good News Garage’s JumpStart program after the recipients met program eligibility criteria, including employment, income level, and sponsorship from a reputable individual or organization.
“This car will make life so much easier,” said Job Thornburn from Rutland. “Even with just laundry and going shopping, just the little things you take for granted when you have a car. It’ll make life a lot better.”
Tom Kupfer, marketing specialist for Good News Garage noted that the vast majority of donated vehicles come from within Chittenden County, “with South Burlington always being one of the most generous towns,” he added. Last year, residents of South Burlington donated 78 vehicles to the nonprofit.
“We never would have been able to reach this milestone without the support of the South Burlington community, including our partner garage, Girlington Garage.”
Good News Garage is a member of Ascentria Care Alliance, one of the largest human service organizations in New England.
“If you look at some of the primary causes of poverty, transportation is number two, right behind mental health and substance abuse,” Angela Bovill, president and CEO of Ascentria. “It is a big deal, and our ability to assist families is only limited by the number of vehicle donations we receive.”
“This is a remarkable milestone,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders. “I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the entire Good News Garage team for placing your 5,000th car.”
For more information or to make a donation, visit GoodNewsGarage.org or call 877-448-3288.