Community Spotlight: Way To Go Inc.
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Last year, Way To Go Inc. served about 800 people in the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County area who were struggling financially and needed a safe, affordable way to get around.
It’s a need that has grown during the pandemic and as inflation raises prices across the board.
The organization fuels people to be more independent and helps to bridge the gap to affordable and reliable transportation.
“Harrisonburg has a public transit system; however, that doesn’t fully and efficiently meet the needs of all of the community members in the city,” Executive Director Benjamin Craig said.
And those who live or need to travel into the county are out of luck when it comes to public transportation. Having a reliable means of getting around is crucial for many reasons.
“To access job opportunities, housing, healthy food, health care, and other daily needs,” Craig said.
While owning a vehicle is the best way to get to and from one’s destinations, it can also be very expensive. That’s where Way To Go comes in. The organization has a variety of programs to get people where they need to go.
“We have three vehicle acquisition programs that can get low-income workers into a reliable and affordable vehicle,” Craig said.
“I am so so happy with my new wheels! I can now go without having to bother anybody, and now I can land that third job to help with my raising my little girl. I am so blessed beyond what I could ever have imagined,” said a client who received a donated vehicle.
Way To Go also has a vehicle maintenance program to help pay for any unexpected repairs. It offers gas vouchers to help when filling up at the pump and vouchers to pay the tab for a rideshare or taxi service.
The nonprofit works with local businesses in the area, so all the money Way To Go gets in grants to help pay for these services is going right back into the community.
“We serve low-income or ALICE, Asset Limited Income-Constrained Employed, individuals in Harrisonburg and Rockingham, and they have to be referred or recommended to Way To Go by the individual’s case manager,” Craig said.
The number of people in this group has grown over the last couple years. Way To Go said it has seen a 17% increase in the number of people it is serving since the pandemic began, and they could use your help to keep up.
“We’re always in need of donations of used vehicles. Donors who donate a used vehicle to us receive a tax deduction based on the car’s fair market value, and then Way To Go has funds set aside to refurbish those vehicles and then pass them along,” Craig said.
The Great Community Give is coming up next month. That is a great opportunity to help out as well. If you would like to get involved with Way To Go, visit w2ginc.org or give them a call at (540)705-6201.
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