As Wheels of Success Prepares for its largest annual car distribution, it faces the loss of its corporate office
Tampa, FL – August 1, 2013 – Hundreds of Bay area families have depended on vehicles provided by local nonprofit Wheels of Success to stay employed and care for their families. As the organization prepares for its largest annual distribution of vehicles, the 8th Annual Working Labor Day event on August 17, the usually happy occasion has turned sad as Wheels of Success prepares for the closure of its main office just two days before event.
The closing of the Family Justice Center in the Floriland Plaza at 9309 North Florida Avenue has also meant the loss of a home for other social service agencies, including Wheels of Success. The location has been the organization’s headquarters since the Justice Center occupied the building in 2006, and Wheels of Success President and CEO Susan Jacobs has been frantically searching for other options as the closure draws near.
“This couldn’t have come at a worse time” said Jacobs. Normally, her only focus would be the 25 families receiving vehicles on August 17, but now Jacobs is scrambling to find a replacement home. The organization plans to operate out of its small car lot at 4130A East Hillsborough Avenue, but the lot lacks adequate space and infrastructure to accommodate all of Wheels of Success’ staff and volunteers.
“While we can help the clients on our waiting list, and provide automotive services to those already with cars, the loss of this space means that we won’t be able to accept new applications from families that need a vehicle for at least one to two months,” said Jacobs. Ideally, Wheels of Success will be able to continue normal operation if it can find donated or discounted office space to meet their needs.
Since 2003, the Tampa-based nonprofit has worked with community partners in the automotive industry to restore donated vehicles to good running condition, and present them to local residents who need transportation to maintain their employment, support their families, and sustain their independence. Wheels of Success has provided 530 cars and even more car-related services to low and moderate income families. Presented by Turner Exposition and State Farm, the organization’s Labor Day event will take place at the Tampa Convention Center, and add 25 vehicles to the organization’s distribution total. Regardless of their location, Wheels of Success will continue to accept vehicle donations in any condition—running or not. Local partner AAA Auto Group provides free towing, and all donations are tax deductible. To make a vehicle donation or to donate funds for vehicle repairs, please call (813) 417-1090, or visit www.wheelsofsuccess.org.