New Wheels Provide Relief for Single Bethesda Mom

Vehicles for Change selects local mom in need

By Kelvin Robinson
|  Thursday, Dec 22, 2011  |  Updated 12:14 AM EDT
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New Wheels Provide Relief for Single Md. Mom

Shanita Godfrey behind the wheel of her first car.

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A single mother of two in Bethesda who's relied on public transportation to get to and from work will be getting around a lot easier -- thanks to an early Christmas present.

Vehicles for Change presented Shantia Godfrey with a refurbished 2001 Toyota Camry Wednesday morning for the low price of $750.

"It's the best feeling in the world to drive my own car," said Godfrey, who couldn't hold back from smiling about her first vehicle ever.

Godfrey said after putting her son on the school bus, she takes a public bus to take her daughter to day care before catching another bus to get to work. That commute timed out to about two hours in the morning and three in the evening. Now she'll be able to do it in fewer than 45 minutes each way.

With the car, Godfrey said she'll also be able to get more hours at work and have the ability to get her kids to after school activities.

"My son's been asking for a year and a half, 'Can I please do karate? Can I please do soccer?' and I told him we don't have enough time, but now I can get him in karate, so it's worth it," Godfrey said.

Godfrey said after all the years in the passenger seat, it's going to take some time getting used to being behind the wheel. But it's an adjustment she's happy to make.

Vehicles for Change selected Godfrey after she was referred by the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County. Godfrey has been involved with the organization for four years, and is now in the family self-sufficiency program, on track to graduate next year.

Since 1999, Vehicles for Change has provided more than 3,500 affordable vehicles to low-income families in the District, Maryland and Virginia.

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