Handing over the keys to a vehicle is a milestone we cherish at New Life Mission. As mom gets behind the wheel for the first time and her children buckle up in the backseat, we imagine how those four wheels will transform her family.

We also know the work mom has put in to get to this point.

To qualify for a vehicle (many of which are donated by generous supporters) mom must be recommended by her case manager, who has been working with her to set goals and be accountable to moving her family toward self-sufficiency.

Mom must also have an income and savings that allow her to do the following:

  • Set aside 1 year of funds for car insurance premiums
  • Set aside 6 months of funds for gas
  • Have an emergency fund of at least $2,000 for repairs and maintenance
  • Pay for the tag and registration

Jelema’s story

Our most recent donated vehicle was given to Jelema and her son, Ke’Jahni.

They came to New Life Mission after the last in a series of controlling relationships. She tried to make it on her own, but found that her full-time job at McDonald’s didn’t cover her rent, or later hotel stays, and childcare.

Jelema used to believe that nothing good would ever come to her. “That’s what I was told,” she said. “My dad told me I was too dumb to go to school. But I’m here and I went to school.”

During her two years in the program, Jelema progressed through the four levels in the program. Some key milestones include

  • Jelema accepted Christ and was baptized
  • Jelema went through driving school and obtained her first driver’s license
  • Jelema earned her CPR certification, completed HHA/CNA certifications and is working full-time at Health First
  • Ke’Jahni maintained A/B honor roll every quarter since being at New Life Mission

Jelema previously traveled to and from work using the Space Coast Area Transit bus. She was limited on the hours she could work based on the times that the bus run.

“This vehicle opens up my chances of moving into another position where I can earn more for me and Ke’Jahni,” Jelema said. “I’m going to school at night to be an LPN. I want to be an RN someday. I used to say to myself, ‘You can’t do it.’ Now, I know I can do it.”

How to donate a vehicle

Vehicles are always needed for the families in the New Life Mission program. We ask that donors do the following:

  • Take the vehicle to a vehicle repair shop of your choosing* for an inspection and engine diagnostic test (average $100) We want to make sure the vehicle is safe for the family and won’t need extensive repairs.
  • Contact us at development@newlife-mission.org  or call (321) 480-9100 Ext. 110 to discuss your donation and the timeline for gifting
  • After signing the title over to New Life Mission, you will receive a receipt that you may use for tax purposes. The vehicle will then be retitled into our mom’s name
  • If you are available, we’d love to have you at the celebration when we give the vehicle to the mom!

*We highly recommend Christian Brothers Automotive, 6315 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne (321) 419-0337