November 5 2012
Click the podcast player to hear how Hands On Garage is donating auto repair to a Milwaukee woman in need.
If you've ever had you car broken into, you know it's an infuriating feeling.
Vonda Payne knows the feeling all too well.
Her car was vandalized a few months ago -- her window smashed and her gear shifter ripped from its console. The damage was extensive, leaving the car undriveable. But she didn't have the option to stay at home.
She cares for three young children -- two of them her niece's -- and she needs her car to get them to and from school. Payne's own children are in their 20s, but after her niece was incarcerated, she decided to care for the kids to keep them out of the system.
After a frustrating few months on the bus, she was at the end of her rope.
"I was devastated, I didn't know how I was going to get these kids around. I had so much to do," Payne said.
That's when her boss stepped in.
He nominated her for the Working Hands program offered through Hands On Garage, a do-it-yourself auto shop on Milwaukee's northwest side. The garage selects one working adult every month who has a demonstrated need for reliable transportation but who cannot afford the repairs on his or her own.
November was Payne's month.
"She's got an unbelievable story, and we're just so proud to be able to help her," said Bill Reilly, part-owner of Hands on Garage.
In a few weeks, Payne will be able to get around town in her newly repaired car. And she says she owes it all to Hands on Garage.
"I am so thankful. This is really a blessing," Payne said.
If you know someone who you think could qualify for the Working Hands Program, visit its official website.