This is a guest post by Elexa Ruth. Elexa is a senior at Tulane University in New Orleans where she works as a contributing writer and photographer for the local magazine, Where Y’at.
The freedom of finally getting a driver’s license, and eventually a car, is something some of us are lucky to have experienced. I was lucky enough not only to have a car at college with me this past fall, but also to have tickets to the first Saints game of the season in the Superdome; how could that be bad?
Well, I could drown my car, while I was in it, trying to get to the game. My dashboard lights went off and my car stalled. I cursed at the steering wheel. Without my car, without transportation, my newfound freedom had been abruptly quashed.
The New Orleans Public Transportation system is nothing to boast about and taxicabs grow costly when you live in a non-walking city. I have been car-less since the fall football season, and I have managed all right as a car-less college student.
Fortunately, my circumstances rendered the situation somewhat comical. For many people though, not having a mode of transportation is a serious issue. I do not have parental responsibilities or a job that required me to have a car. The non-profit organization, Women with Drive Foundation (WWDF), alleviates the complication of not having access to transportation. Being employed and a mom are just two of the criteria necessary for a woman to qualify to receive a car through WWDF.
WWDF believes, “inadequate transportation hinders welfare recipients’ ability to seek (and keep) employment.” In an effort to help women become self-sufficient, the organization “provides a car to women in transition in exchange for their participation in programs that identifies and addresses her particular barriers to independence, helping her to achieve self sufficiency.” Programs may include:
- Helping them access higher education
- Financial planning skills
- Learning interview and other life skills designed to empower her and her children
- Giving her a new perspective about her capabilities
“By removing the pressure of owning and maintaining a vehicle, WWDF participants have the energy to focus on elevating and empowering themselves – helping them to help themselves transition from poverty.”
You can help the cause for women’s independence by donating a car. For more information about the organization, please visit the website.