By Hannah

In the time that’s passed since I first shared a desire God put on my heart to help families get the vehicles they need, I’ve heard some feedback from other parents. It is so familiar and relatable. Words like, “your situation is so similar to ours,” or “getting our new van changed our lives in ways we could never even have imagined.” Or a private message sent, seeking resources, and sharing the catch 22 scenarios families like ours often find themselves in. All the figurative roadblocks in the way of literally moving down the road.

We can all agree that reliable transportation is a basic need for most of us. We may even take for granted how much we rely on our vehicles, but our dependence becomes blatantly clear if/when we ever have to go without.

About a year after we started driving our wheelchair-accessible van, I needed to swap cars with Evan so he could do an oil change before Gage and I traveled to Kansas City for a short hospital stay. I also needed to get some last-minute items for our trip. I thought it’d be no big deal to just take kids in car seats. All I really needed to do was to pop in a couple places and make quick pickups. Easy peasy, right? Nope, wrong. Walking into a store, not even to shop but just pick up an online order, had my arms and back aching as I held Gage on my hip—the whole whopping 32 pounds of him. Long gone are the days that Gage can easily be carried from place to place with minimal effort. Two errands were all I had the stamina for that day.

After that outing, I was acutely aware of just how life-changing a vehicle can be. I already knew what a big deal it was, but the short experience of going without made me not want to have to again. It also filled me with gratitude for having such a huge need met, every single day, several times a day.