Upshift-Thank You!

What a successful day! The 2nd annual Upshift Summer Bash was a great success! We cannot say “Thank You” enough to our sponsors, vendors, volunteers, and members of the community who came out to support Drive For Independence. We had a great time and our show field nearly doubled from last year’s size!

We would like to thank our sponsors again: Apple Nissan of York (Platinum), Ida Automotive, Preston Tucker LLC, Mobility SVM, Ride-Away, Aadvantage Insurance (gold Sponsors), Royal Manchester Golf Links, Amsoil by Mike Marx , Saba by Kala Sechrist (silver), Perfectly Posh by Stephanie Fritts, and Markets at Hanover (bronze). Also in memoriam sponsorship in memory of Tyler Shumate donated by Jim and Polly Shumate.

Upshift Summer Bash was very successful and we reached our goal! With nearly $2,000 raised we will now be able to proceed with our 501(c)3 (non-profit) status. In the coming months we will be hiring a lawyer to get set up so we can start serving our community and adults with disabilities! We are so excited to have reached this goal and it would not have been possible without the support of our community and sponsors! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Also we will be making a calendar just in time for the gift giving season. Winners from this year’s Upshift will be featured in the calendar. Watch for more details and pre-order information soon!

Here are some pictures from the event (people’s choice and Best Truck winner not pictured):
(we’ll be adding another post with many more pictures soon so keep an eye out!)
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Trophies

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1st place

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2nd place

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3rd place
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Best Motorcycle

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We have Fiscal Sponsorship!

“What is fiscal sponsorship?”, you may ask. It is when one non-profit organization sponsors another organization either just starting out or who decide using a sponsor is a better method to run their organization accepts tax-deductible donations on their behalf.

Drive for Independence has been accepted by Philanthropic Endeavors to receive donations on our behalf! We will use funds raised through Philanthropic Endeavors to get our 501(c) 3 status and start serving our community. Our plan is in the next year – year and a half to be operating under our own organization.

This will be a great partnership and allow us fundraising opportunities we otherwise would not have. We chose Philanthropic Endeavors because they are based here in York and for their low administration costs. Many times fiscal sponsorship will result in 3-12% of donations being taken by the sponsoring organization. Philanthropic Endeavors is a very small 1%. They want as much of your donation as possible to go to your chosen cause.

To make a donation please visit:
www.PhilanthropicEndeavors.org and use the PayPal donate button at the top. Please make sure to put Drive for Independence in the memo.

We will use this method of donation instead of Youcaring at this point.

Another Hurdle Overcome

The last week and a half we were in Johnstown. It was quite a different experience to be kid free for that long since the boys were born. We also had to adjust to a different schedule for that time but we managed. Getting up at 6 in the morning instead of heading to bead at that time was a little tough but we managed.

Chris went out driving about 4-5 hours everyday for the most part. He drove some crazy roads most of the time that were snow covered. He was learning to drive on very sensitive equipment so this is a pretty good indicator he can definitely handle the equipment he needs! Let alone it wasn’t set up specifically for him. He had to make do with what was available. Here’s a map to give a idea of what Chris was tackling everyday.

The full joystick was a little too finicky for him so they decided on gas/brake lever and steering on the joystick. The T handle on the gas/brake set-up wasn’t working well for him so Chris suggested a vertical handle instead. EMC doesn’t make a vertical handle surprisingly so they had to rig a makeshift stalk for him to use. The joystick was the same thing and has a pretty tiny ball and he had a little issue with that as well so they made another makeshift stalk for it. Once they got everything set up for him he did very well.IMG_0046

Tuesday Feb 17th he took his driver’s test to get the additional driving equipment added to his license. He had his license there are just additional requirements for driving via joystick. He is now able to get his truck equipped with EMC joystick steering!

We are now waiting for the prescription to go to OVR. Once they have the prescription we will get the go ahead to buy his truck. After we get the truck we will have to choose 3 companies to bid on the work. Once the bid process is over the truck will be dropped of with the bid winning installer. It will first head to Indiana for Mobility SVM to do the floor and lift conversion. It will then most likely head to EMC for wiring up in Maine. Finally it will then come back to the company who won the bid (we’re hoping we can get Ride-Away in Norristown) to finish the installing of EMC equipment, EZ-Lock, and all the finishing touches and we’ll take final delivery.

At final delivery Chris will have up to 5 days of additional training on his new truck with the rehabilitation specialist to make sure the truck is set up and working well for him. We still have a bit more of this process to get through but we are headed in the right direction! We’ve been warned it could be a year until we take final delivery. It shouldn’t take that long but we are preparing for the worst and hoping for the very best that it is only at most 6 months!

It’s Time to Help Others Reach their Dreams

We are ready to begin the planning stages of bringing Drive for Independence to life! We’ve reached our goal and will be getting Chris’s truck soon. We are now ready to begin Drive for Independence. Our mission is to help those with physical disabilities get the accessible transportation they need to reach their life goals.

We will be focused on people with the highest level of disabilities and have needs for a higher cost vehicle to be converted. Depending on the situation and needs we may be able to help others with getting low-level hand controls. We will be helping by providing grants to people. In most instances the maximum grant possible will be $10,000.00. We will also be following rules for Pennsylvania OVR in regards to insuring vehicles. If you are using Pennsylvania OVR for your conversion there are rules and regulations you must follow and we will have very similar guidelines. You will not be eligible for another grant from us for at least 10 years and all other funding options must me exhausted before we can consider giving a grant.  There are many, many people who need vehicles but we want to be sure the vehicle will be taken care of appropriately and that the person can financially sustain the high price of the converted vehicle. We will be there to direct people on the best options for them and help them navigate funding sources. We want to give people the best opportunity to succeed in life!

We are currently working to form a board we need a secretary, several board members and a fundraising committee to be successful with Drive for independence. If you are interested our first meeting will be held Thursday February 26th at 6:30pm at Panera Bread in East York. Please follow the link to the Facebook link and let us know if you will be attending: https://www.facebook.com/events/804259203006295. If you don’t have Facebook and would like to attend please email us at driveforindependence@gmail.com.

We look forward to serving our community with Drive For Independence!

It’s Official! Chris’s Drive For Independence Has Reached its Goal!

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Thank you to everyone who made our very first car show a success! We may not have reached our goal but we are less than $1,000.00 away from our goal! We are still proceeding forward with getting Chris’s truck. It will still be a couple months until we are given the go ahead to get the truck by OVR so there is still an opportunity to get there.

Thank you to the food trucks and vendors who gave their support in our first year. You took a gamble on us! We can’t say thank you enough for being there to support us! Thank you to the vendors who came out to share the day with us. Thank you to all the car guys, including some of the Visual Reality Car Club, and three special Johns (John O., John Sheldon, and John Burch) that came out to support! Chris This event was about bringing the community out to help one of its own reach his dream!

The Upshift Summer Bash raised $1,209.00 leaving us just $800.00 shy of our goal. We thought we were proceeding forward without reaching it. That all changed this morning at 9:30am! I was expecting email from Ride-Away who was part of our event. Imagine my (Heather’s) surprise when I looked in my email and there was a donation the completed our goal and exceeded it! I just about hit the floor I was so shocked! Chris was sleeping and I woke him up with my hysterics! At least it was a great reason, right?

Thank you again to everyone who has helped us reach our goal! It was so much a community effort! It now puts us very close to Chris’s Dream of Driving. OVR paperwork is in the works and hopefully as long as all goes to plan we will have his truck in 4-6 months! Sooner is better than later but after a 10 year wait this will be nothing! What a way to celebrate Chris and I being together for 10 years! What an awesome gift and one we will never forget!!!