How a donated vehicle is helping a mother and daughter maintain healthy relationships

June 4, 2024

Executive Director Jay Height recently told Shepherd Community Center staff about how one generous donor helped neighbors with a gift of several vehicles. Here’s how a portion of that donation changed the lives of one mother and daughter:

“Marilyn is a single mother who works hard to raise her teenage daughter well. Marilyn and her daughter have been a part of Shepherd for many years through our partner IPS school, after-school programming, church and food delivery.

Marilyn is quick to serve her daughter and others in the community, and both she and her daughter’s contagious kindness have brought joy to many Shepherd staff and volunteers.

Transportation has been a long-term challenge for the mother and daughter as they’ve navigated safe ways to get to and from school, the grocery store, doctors’ offices and other places.

Several months ago, Marilyn found out that the home they’d been renting for eight years was being sold, and they would need to relocate. After a long search for new housing options, they recently landed a great apartment. Although the apartment is perfect for them in many ways, the move required the daughter to change schools, and transportation again became a challenge.

The daughter’s school would not send a bus to pick her up, and the city bus routes didn’t make it feasible for her to attend Shepherd after school or for summer camp.

Marilyn often tells me about the benefits that our programming has on her daughter, and we were all a little heartbroken that there may not be a way for her to get to and from Shepherd after the move.

So, the opportunity for this mother and daughter to have a vehicle opens the door for them to be in stable housing without having to sacrifice access to basic needs like school, food and medical appointments.

The donated vehicle also allows Marilyn’s daughter to maintain healthy relationships, out-of-school learning experiences, and new pathways toward her future career through Shepherd programming.

When I told Marilyn about the car, her first response was, “Now I can drive (my daughter) to after-school and summer camp!”

We are so excited to continue journeying with this family, and access to a vehicle will play a significant part in making that possible.”

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