<!–Saxotech Paragraph Count: 7
You’ve lost your job, and your car breaks down. You don’t have enough money to fix your car — but without a car, you won’t be able to make it to your job interviews. You need money to fix the car, and you need a car to make money.
To be sure, that’s a simplified story. (Take the bus! Borrow a car! Borrow the money to fix the car!) But the point is this: For those who are experiencing hard times, problems never are isolated. One difficulty — a blown transmission, say — inevitably breeds more challenges, and those new challenges create new stresses and hardships, and it can be deeply difficult to pull out of the downward spiral.
A new program launched last month in Marathon County called Wheels to Work will provide assistance to those who need help staying out of that cycle. The program works with needy families, either to help them get a vehicle of their own or to obtain low-cost repairs to a broken-down car.
Administered by the Wisconsin Automotive and Truck Education Association Inc., the program is partnered with a number of local auto-parts distributors, including Olson Tire and Auto Service Inc. in Wausau. The program also is working with Wausau East and West high schools, Northcentral Technical College, the Marathon County University of Wisconsin-Extension and many other businesses to provide these services.
For those needy families who don’t have cars, the program will make donated vehicles available. For those who have cars that are broken down, low-cost car repairs will be performed by students from Wausau East and Wausau West high schools and NTC. The students will be able to learn about car repair (Wausau East students are part of the school’s auto mechanics program) while helping out local families.
The program also provides participants with financial counseling and even vehicle maintenance classes of their own.
It’s a creative program, and we hope it finds a solid foothold here with plenty of community support. If you have a used car you’d like to donate, or to apply for help through the Wheels to Work initiative, call Becky Kopp at 715-581-9283 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.