Almost there! Help us reach our 2015 Upshift Summer Bash Goal!

 Drive for Independence would like to again, thank you all for helping make our 2nd Annual Upshift Summer Bash a huge success!

We made a lofty goal of $2000 for this year’s event
and have fallen just a little short.

We need your help! To help raise the remaining $200,
we have added a few incentives!!!

Donations are being accepted in person, by mail and via PayPal. For your convenience, use the Paypal link below to donate or use the contact form to contact us for our mailing address or to set up an in person meet.  When making your donation, please be sure to include your mailing address. This will help us to send your gift out to you! If you are local and would like to pick up your gift, please let us know!

Paypal

The donation incentives are as follows:

For each $5 donation, we will send you one of the commemorative Upshift Summer Bash drawstring backpack!

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For each $10 donation, we will send you a Lower ’48 Tucker Reproduction by Rob Ida poster and the commemorative Upshift Summer Bash drawstring backpack!

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For each $15 donation, we will send you one of our Drive for Independence Key Chains, in addition to the commemorative Upshift Summer Bash drawstring backpack, and Lower ’48 Tucker Reproduction by Rob Ida poster!wpid-20150817_102618.jpgwpid-20150713_092829.jpgwpid-2013-10-19-14.23.57.jpg

Thank you for your ongoing support of Drive For Independence!

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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!

What’s Next? OVR red tape hoopfest!

Plenty of people are curious as to where we go next with getting Chris’s truck. Here is a basic run down of what’s to come.

This week we turned in the OVR agreement of what is to happen in the process and turned paper work into the doctor to be filled out so Chris can be re-evaluated (first hoop of red tape) for what hand controls he needs. We are now waiting for OVR to contact us to set up that evaluation. Once that evaluation is completed we have 3 months to purchase a vehicle as that is the length of time the evaluation is good for before you have go around again. OVR then does a bidding process (second hoop of red tape) that we have to go through to determine which company we will work with for the full conversion.

The next step would be purchasing the truck. We’ll pick out/order the truck Chris wants and then it will be time for conversion. The truck will first be sent to Mobility SVM in Indiana to do the floor/lift to enable Chris’s chair to get in and out of the truck. It will then come back to PA.

Once back in PA the joystick hand controls (most likely an EMC joystick) will be put in. This is mainly the part that requires the bidding process since there are a few companies in PA that do hand control installs. We’re hoping to work with Ride-Away in Norristown. We’ve seen a good bit of their work and have been pleased with it.

After all the work is complete Chris will have to be evaluated on the vehicle again to make sure it is fitted well for him and he can drive it safely (third hoop of red tape). We then sign the contract stating he’s not eligible for another vehicle conversion for 10 years. That is one of the major reasons we chose a truck. The durability of a truck cannot be matched by a minivan and we like to get out there and use our vehicle quite a bit!

When all is said and done the truck will have probably $50,000 worth of equipment added to it! Easily making the vehicle worth around $100,000 even before Chris gets his hands on it!

Yep it will be worth more than our house!

We may still have 4-6 months before the truck is ready for Chris but we can’t wait to share the good news when Chris is driving himself!

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!!!

Our Future Plans for Drive For Independence

With just only 4-5 months left until we hopefully start the process of making Chris’ Dream his reality I wanted to start sharing our dream for the future. Once we hit March or April we will begin the process of buying his truck and getting it converted. It could be a 6 month process. We’ll have to see when it gets here!

I want to share what we are working towards. We would in some way like to help others in a similar situation to ours, those with disabilities who would like to work but struggle with reliable transportation. Mini-vans are not the best in the snow and the bigger vehicles many need for the conversion process are quite a financial burden. We would like to work on first helping to reduce some of the financial burden with grants and Chris would ultimately like to look at working with manufacturers and conversion companies to come up with more user-friendly and pocketbook friendly vehicles.

We would like to keep up with fundraisers that we have had success with and set up a board to help oversee everything. In other words we are looking to set up our own 501(c).

We have learned a LOT with this process and would like to be able to help others with what we have learned. If you are interested in being involved please contact us and as the time nears when we are ready to get this off the ground we will be in contact!

I am excited for our future and the Independence this truck will give Chris. It would be such an awesome opportunity to continue his dream for others!

driveforindependence@gmail.com