A number of private charitable organizations recognize that people need reliable transportation to hold jobs and take care of their families. Low-income families in Missouri and throughout the nation often struggle to afford the car that could dramatically improve their lives. Although there are no government or nonprofit cash grants to purchase vehicles, a number of organizations grant vehicles in-kind. Those in need can apply to select nonprofits for free vehicles. Organizations usually have more families in need than they have cars, so applicants should expect a wait.
Cars 4 Christmas
Cars4Christmas (cars4christmas.org) is a nonprofit organization that supplies Midwest families in need -- including those in St. Louis -- with vehicles. Usually, the organization provides fixed-up used cars supplied by donors within its communities. Because of the weather facing the region, Cars4Christmas frequently provides relief to those affected by tornadoes. Applications for cars are available online.
The working poor, vicitims of natural disasters, residents of transitional shelters and victims of domestic violence are some of the people who qualify for donated cars from 1-800-CharityCars (800charitycars.com). This nonprofit program solicits used cars from donors around the country and matches them to those in need. Missouri residents can call to begin an application.
Working Cars for Working Families
The National Consumer Law Center's Working Cars for Working Families program (workingcarsforworkingfamilies.com) assists low-income and struggling families across the country receive free cars. The center believes a vehicle is essential for people to work and support their families and has therefore developed a network of nonprofits focused on providing vehicles to those without.
Although Goodwill Industries (goodwill.org) is best known for helping people get back on their feet through job training and placement services, Goodwill helps struggling individuals and families with a variety of special needs. On occasion, this can include low-interest auto loans and vehicle donations. Those in need can visit their local Goodwill offices or the organization's website to get help with their personal situations.
Eric Feigenbaum started his career in print journalism, becoming editor-in-chief of "The Daily" of the University of Washington during college and afterward working at two major newspapers. He later did many print and Web projects including re-brandings for major companies and catalog production.