2 Naperville-area nonprofits combine forces to provide cars to those in need

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Two Naperville-area nonprofits are combining forces to help provide cars for those who are in need of reliable transportation.

Loaves & Fishes Community Services and DuPagePads are partnering up for the special car donation program.

Long-time car donation program now getting an extra hand

Loaves & Fishes had previously run the CARES Car Program, taking cars that had been donated by the community, repairing them, and giving them to eligible families in need. The program has been in place for the past twenty-five years.

It will now continue with the help of DuPagePads, which did not have such a program. With this new collaboration, the groups say they will have a better chance to match the vehicles with those in need. It also provides a wider net to locate cars to be used in the program.

“Over the years, Loaves & Fishes has provided donated vehicles to individuals referred by DuPagePads. Due to changes in the used car market, we have seen a significant decline in donated vehicles,” said Janet Derrick, Executive Vice President Programs in a news release. “We are grateful to DuPagePads for being willing to help Loaves & Fishes secure and repair donated vehicles for eligible residents of DuPagePads.”

Transportation key part of getting those in need back on their feet

Clients of Loaves & Fishes and DuPagePads must go through an application process to determine their eligibility for the donated cars. For many, having this independent transportation is a key part of helping them get back on their feet.

“For the families and individuals who are staying safe with us, transportation has been a major barrier in their journey to truly end their homelessness,” said April Redzic, President and CEO at DuPagePads in the news release. “In a county like ours, you need a car to get to work, to medical appointments, to day care and to your child’s after-school activities. This program will change the lives of so many, and we are hopeful that the community will be as excited as we are about this program…and decide to donate their used vehicle!”

The two groups hope that the collaboration will also help streamline this service, and create a larger support network.

One car recipient noted the impact it had on their life, saying, “It is such a life-changing thing to be able to go back and forth to work and the grocery store. We are so thankful and happy for this car. Without the donor and the people at Loaves & Fishes taking it in and fixing it up, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

More information about the car donation program

More information about the program and the application process can be found on the Loaves & Fishes Community Services website.

Those interested in donating a used car for the program can reach out to Chad Pedigo, VP of Development at DuPagePads, at his email: cpedigo@dupagepads.org.

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