Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I got the call!!! FCC has a car for me!!!

I a stunned. Tears rolling down my face. This will change my life.

Yesterday, I was on my way to a dentist for a root canal and trying to figure out how to get to go see my Godson, who is fighting cancer. On my way, my phone rang.

It was Reggie from Free Charity Cars. He told me a car had been donated in my area, a 2001 Daewoo Lanos- would I be interested? I told him I'd be happy even if it was a rusty jalopy!

This will change so many things in my life for the better. I'm homeless due to a flood in my apartment, which turned out to be an illegally converted office, and a health hazard to live in. I'm still having medical problems because of the exposure to toxins from the flood, and the exposure to all the mold. Having a car again will help me be able to get the medical help I need, and will allow me to try to find legal help over what happened there.

It's almost hard to imagine. The simple joy of being able to pick up groceries at a store and not have to take three buses. Being able to listen to good music in the car and go somewhere, maybe even someplace fun. The idea that I could find a job that's out of the range of where I can walk or take a bus to. The security of not having to walk home alone in the dark in a neighborhood where I was sexually assaulted. The idea that if I'm in a situation that doesn't feel right I'll have the power to leave of my own accord.

It means everything to me. It'll help me do all the things I need to do to find a new place, and if it runs well enough, it'll even eventually help me move back to New Orleans- where my heart truly is.

I hope Reggie, and Brian, and all of my friends at FCC know how much it means to me. It's hard to even express in words. I want the person who donated this car to really know that this compassionate act is practically saving someone's life. I want other people who might consider donating a car to understand just how much it might mean to someone like me, and the many other people who have applied that really need this help.

Please support FCC. Donate if you can, and even if you're not in the position to do that, create an account and vote for people who have stories that touch your heart. You will make a lot of friends, and really be helping people out. It's so worth it.

I'll be holding my breath until the papers are all set and the keys are in my hands. I have to see my Godson who is fighting cancer, get the proper paperwork in order, get on a plane and return to Seattle. Then I finally will have something that will help me put my life back together. I lost almost everything in that flood, and it nearly killed me. This could really make an extraordinary difference in my life. If this really happens for me, it is the start of rebuilding a decent life for myself, and also the start of being able to do more for those around me.

Thank you so much to all the people who have helped me with this, especially the previous owner of the car. I appreciate it more than I could ever say. I hope that life blesses you with love, peace, happiness, health, and all the good things you could want.

To anyone else reading this, please help support this charity in any way that you can. Making a difference in the life of someone else may make a difference in your life.

Nicolette Stevens

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Free Charity Cars gave away more cars today!

Now I feel all warm and fuzzy.

I really like the interactive website that FCC uses to help select recipients for the cars they award. Some of how they make their choices in who is given a car has to do with factors in the application, and some of it is effected by how many cars are donated to FCC in a given area, and partly the decision is effected by the applicants all interfacing with each other on this website. Members can tell their story, read about each other, and vote to help each other get closer to having the car they really need.

As a side product of the way the project is handled, the applicants all over the country get to know each other a little bit. I'm sure many real and special friendships have been formed through this interactive social network. Most of the applicants are in a difficult spot in their lives in one way or another. Trough reading each others stories and interacting, many of the members feel less alone in their troubles, and more able to give and receive emotional support to each other.

A large focus of course is the practical reality that being a car owner often creates opportunities and facilitates taking care of themselves and their families. People who cannot afford a car have more limited opportunities for work, and often have much more difficulty taking care of basic needs. Imagine getting your groceries across town once a week, and having to take multiple buses and carry heavy bags. When I owned a car, I didn't even think about things like that-- it was a five minute, simple task. Now it is an all day affair! Interestingly, as the members commiserate, they often seem ready to share ideas and resources that may be supportive or empowering past the possibility of getting a much needed vehicle.

That's amazing.

It's also really nice to see some of the other members get awarded. It takes some time and dedication to participate in the FCC website, and can even be a it frustrating when you can't get a proper computer connection. However, when you start looking back over the status updates and see several new people that are all excited and grateful-- because someone just handed them keys and said "Here you go!" :-)

It makes me feel good to see that because I understand the difficulty of life without a car, and I'm always happy when I see someone being given an opportunity to make their life better. These things have ripple effects in communities. Suddenly one lady's daughter can join the girl scouts and get a ride from her mom, and a person who has medical problems can get to a doctor....

It's also nice to watch because it legitimizes the charity in a very real and direct way. I definitely don't mind promoting something that is helping a lot of people out! :-)

Speaking of promoting, one young woman who was just awarded a car keeps another blog about supporting FCC, check it out:

Promoting FCC Blog by MeandAleah

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tips for applicants using the Free Charity Cars Site

DO as many of the things you can to gain extra votes and karma as you set up your profile and get things started. POST your story of why you need to get a car, and what has kept you unable to get one on your own. UPLOAD PICTURES- the first ten get you ten extra votes. Once you have your first 100 votes, turn your APPLICATION in, which will also get you five extra votes. PROMOTE Free Charity Cars on your social networks. If you add their link,you'll get a few extra points when people click on them and view your profile. You can also promote in other ways, such as making fliers and passing them out, and writing an email to your friends and asking them to join. MAKE A VIDEO if you can, and you'll get an extra 25 points when you upload it.

VOTE for other applicants. This increases your Karma, helps them out, and is likely to encourage them to read your story and vote for you. You can vote for as many people as you want once a day, so there's no reason not to make a bunch of new friends.


Once you start to have a long list of friends, you'll find voting for all of them daily may take some time. If you have a good internet connection, you can "speed vote". You open your friends page, right click on a users name, and hit "open in new tab". Keep going down the list and right clicking on your friends, opening their profiles in new tabs. Try it with five at first to get the hang of it, and once you do you may be able to do up to 20 at once. It will turn potentially hours of voting into much less time!

Join me at Free Charity Cars!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Free cars in Seattle and Washington State- Free Charity Car Applicant Run Promotional Campeign Proposal

Now, I'm a very new member of the Free Charity Cars network, but many things have become clear very quickly. It is very possible to get awarded a free car if you are in a situation of need; but getting chosen when one comes up is dependent on a variety of factors.

One obvious factor is how many cars in a given area become available vs how many applicants. When more cars are donated in a particular area, more may be available. Free Charity Cars encourages the applicants, and anyone else who sees the worthiness of the cause, to promote the charity. I know, in this part of the beginning of the internet age, we're all probably getting sick of anything that sounds like "promote my site" , " donate to this cause" , join this, click that, and have some spam for lunch. However- this one actually IS worth the time.

I'm sure I'm not the first member involved with FCC to think of this, but since I'm up in Seattle... if any of the other applicants in this geographical area are interested in working on a project together to promote FCC, I'd be very interested in trying to arrange some kind of get together to talk about it. Obviously, all of us have transportation issues... but some of the bus routes in this city run very well...and we could meet up at a place along one of the major lines.

If anyone is interested, please send me a message. And if you're one of the Seattle and Washington folks who are applying, feel free to leave your story in the comments on this post. If I come up with a flier about FCC I'll list this blog as well--- and potential donors may run across out collective set of pleas for assistance in this really screwed up economic climate. Realizing that it's their neighbors in a community they are donating their used vehicles, time or money to may help others see why it would be such an amazing help in someone's lives.

Users from other area's are also welcome to post their stories and user names in the comments on this post. For once, it makes total sense to pass the word on, it could benefit a lot of people in life altering ways.

Join me at Free Charity Cars!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Real People who got Awarded Real Free Cars from Free Charity Cars!

Here's another you tube video that promotes FCC. I really liked watching this one- seeing that other people have gotten help from FCC makes me more hopeful that I might be one of the lucky applicants one day. It also makes it more real, I think, for anyone considering a donation- to put faces and people's lives in the perspective of a charitable donation.

This video was made by " Crystal84 " , a FCC member. Even if you don't have a vehicle or money to donate, you can help out by going to the site, reading the stories of hopeful applicants, and voting to help them get a car. Time is valuable, and the time you could spend promoting this charity and supporting the members is also a wonderful gift.

Please come be my friend on FCC, vote for as many applicants as you can, and make it your random act of kindness today. :-)

Join me at Free Charity Cars!