Rolling Towards Independence
Rolling Start NC is a non-profit founded in 2019 by a group of car enthusiasts wanting to use their interests and abilities to help community members in need of personal transportation. The organization accepts donated vehicles and, with the parts and services supplied at cost, using primarily volunteer labor, refurbishes them to become safe and reliable vehicles. Cars are then given at no cost to individuals and families in Jackson County and surrounding areas currently without a car, working their way out of poverty, rebuilding their lives after a life-changing crisis, or simply trying to survive on a limited fixed income.
A 2009 Chevy Malibu was recently refurbished by Rolling Start and presented to a local man who serves as the primary caretaker to his disabled longtime partner. The Malibu was able to replace the man’s former car, which was not reliable or safe. The refurbished Malibu provides much-needed transportation while also making it possible to take his partner to medical appointments. The recipient has been able to work small jobs to supplement their fixed income thanks to receiving the car.
Other vehicle recipients include domestic abuse survivors, retirees, disabled individuals, veterans, and unemployed applicants seeking work, many on fixed incomes and without safe or reliable transportation.
WNC Bridge Foundation awarded Rolling Start NC with a three-year capacity IMPACT grant to support the organization’s programmatic capabilities, which includes supporting the salary of Rolling Start’s part-time program coordinator position and a part-time mechanic.
With the help of the Program Coordinator, a marketing plan was initiated to create community awareness of Rolling Start NC’s mission and the need for donated vehicles after the organization experienced a sharp decline in donated vehicles during the first half of 2022, receiving only six cars, and of those, only two were able to be refurbished. The program coordinator contacted car dealerships, repair shops, churches, civic groups, and local media, providing information on the benefits of donating cars to Rolling Start NC. The marketing efforts resulted in 35 vehicles being donated to Rolling Start NC that year. The program coordinator has assumed the vital task of vetting and identifying applicants with the help of an all-volunteer committee with human services and non-profit experience.
WNC Bridge’s IMPACT Grant also funds a part-time mechanic for Rolling Start. His knowledge and skills have significantly increased the scope of repairs Rolling Start can provide and has increased the organization’s capacity to refurbish vehicles. Rolling Start NC projects a 50% increase in cars awarded to applicants in the next 12 months.
“Our capacity grant from WNC Bridge is doing exactly what we hoped. Rolling Start NC is a little over four years old, and to date, we have given 64 vehicles to individuals in need. Using this grant to support our part-time coordinator and mechanic allows us to get more individuals into reliable vehicles.”
~Cliff Faull, President, Rolling Start NC