Home > About > Who Your Donation Helps > Victor, Joseph and Michael
With the donation of a car, you help us provide homeless services to children like Victor, Joseph and Michael.
At Volunteers of America the donation of a car is the first step to a new life for homeless families. When you think of car donation to charities, think of Volunteers of America Chesapeake, and the full range of homeless services we provide to struggling families in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Virginia Beach. When you donate a car you help thousands of homeless men, women …and children. Victor, Joseph and Michael were three of those children:
At 20, 17 and 15-years-old Victor, Joseph and Michael Williams may seem like your typical trio of brothers. Victor just finished his second year in college, where he is a Health & Physical Education Major. He wants to be a PE Teacher and Coach. Joseph just finished his freshman year at the University of Virginia and Michael is looking forward to his junior year of high school. All three work hard academically and excel athletically.
But Victor, Joseph and Michael are far from typical. At nine, six and four-years-old they were growing up at a homeless shelter. With their parents and sister, the brothers arrived at Volunteers of America Chesapeake's Loudoun Emergency Shelter (one of our homeless services underwritten by your donation of a car)in September of 1999 and soon began living at Volunteers of America Chesapeake's Loudon Transitional Housing Program. After years of experiencing financial hardships the family ended up with no where else to go.
What could be a devastating situation for some, turned into a powerful and inspirational experience for the family. "To see all of those people help us and shine this bright light on our lives was just absolutely beautiful," says mother Rhonda. Victor said that "being in the situation we were in – poor and homeless – I felt brought our family closer."
Armed with a new sense of hope, and grateful for those who provided operating funds to the Loudoun Shelter with the donation of a car, the family left our center, moved into their own home and made it their mission to help others. Now, eleven years later, they still live that mission – providing hope to others through countless volunteer hours both locally and overseas.
Recently Victor, Joseph and Michael took their volunteer efforts to an international level: traveling to Costa Rica and participating in the 12-day "Discover True Friendship Tour 2010" with the International Relief & Friendship Foundation.
Waking at 5 a.m. "to the crow of a rooster or the screech of a monkey" the brothers spent their days making concrete, breaking flooring, digging ditches, repairing roofing and renovating a local church. "It was brutal work," says Victor "My blood and sweat went into helping these people – but that is something special."
Evenings were spent meeting with other non-profits learning more about their services, passing out suitcases full of items they collected to donate to the Costa Rican children and spending time with their host families – all eye-opening experiences for the brothers.
"It made me realize how much we have to be grateful for," says Michael, "simple luxuries like hot water, paved roads, homes instead sheet metal shacks… but it was really something to see how even though they have half as much as we have in America, they are more wealthy because of how grateful they are and how happy they are and how full their lives are. With what little they have, they make the most of it."
Far from the homelessness they experienced in their past, the life of the Williams family is now full of hope – for their future – and the lives of those they now help along the way.
"When Volunteers of America Chesapeake helped us," says Victor, "it made it real to us that when you help other people even if it's a small thing – it can give them hope. And that can mean a lot to someone – because it did to us."
The simple act of the donation of a car helped to provide the services that changed the course of these boys lives.
It might seem like a bit of an exaggeration to say that the donation of a car can inspire a life changing experience, but when you donate your car or truck to Volunteers of America Chesapeake, it can provide the boost a struggling family in our area really needs.
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America Chesapeake's Homeless Services transform your
donation of a car into tangible hope for homeless families.
At Volunteers of America Chesapeake, we transform donated vehicles into a second chance for homeless families. The donation of a car to our program can provide thousands of homeless people in the Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Virginia area with shelter, food, job training and job placement. Not only do you help change lives, we also help you claim a significant deduction for the donation of a car from the IRS (See Taxes: Donate Car). We accept vehicle donations from all over the this area - from Washington D.C. or Baltimore, to Virginia Beach, Arlington, Lanham, Woodbridge, Leesburg, Falls Church and Seat Pleasant. If you want to donate a car, use the form on the right side of the page, or call toll free 877-721-4862.