I finally woke up and smelled the coffee after 50 years of bad choices. VOA Michigan fed me, clothed me and did right by me. Cedric, Vietnam Veteran
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Donating cars to vets programs at VOA Michigan helps honored veterans like Cedric find new jobs and build new lives.
Charitable vehicle donations to Volunteers of America support life changing programs right here in Michigan. When you donate a car you help veterans like Cedric - one of the many former servicemen whose lives are changed through charitable vehicle donations like yours. His story demonstrates the life changing power of car donation to charities and donating cars to vets:
Cedric’s earliest memories are those of isolation and abandonment. Cedric’s mother was never around and compulsive gambling captured all of his father’s attention, leaving little time for the two small children living under his roof. Cedric and his sister had to fend for themselves.
Cedric enjoyed going to school and learning, but every day he faced the humiliation of having to wear tattered clothes. In his poverty, even basic school supplies like pencils and paper were hard to come by. After years of struggle, sixteen year old Cedric dropped out of school and joined the Army. By his 18th birthday Cedric was on the front lines in Vietnam. The structure of the Army was good for him. He felt like he belonged, like he had a family at last. But that sense of family came at a cost: the terrible things he saw left lasting scars that haunted him long after he was honorably discharged.
When Cedric returned to his home in Michigan, he took a job at Ford Motor Company’s engineering research center in Dearborn. He was proud of his new job, but being the youngest person in his department brought back his old feelings of isolation. He was scared and alone once again; this time with horrible images of war haunting him.
To escape the demon of loneliness, Cedric turned to another demon. He began to drink heavily, drinking so often that one day he totaled the expensive prototype he was driving and almost died. Cedric was fired and his life
began to spiral out of control. Cedric moved around and took any job he could get: distributing flyers, doing odd jobs, handing out tickets at a parking structure. At first, he worked enough to support himself, then the drinking and soon drugs began to take up more and more of his time and income. Cedric lost his apartment and finally ended up on the streets. He was addicted and alone.
But then Cedric reached out for help – help made possible by people donating cars to vets. Cedric went to one of the many homeless shelters in Michigan funded by your charitable vehicle donations to Volunteers of America. Thanks to our Veterans in Progress Program Cedric began to get his life back. While in the program he was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Like many homeless vets, Cedric’s road to recovery had many setbacks as he struggled with scars left by war and a father who had abandoned him. He fell back into his old ways and was homeless for six more years before coming back to Volunteers of America veterans programs underwritten by people in Michigan donating cars to vets. It was there that Cedric said “Volunteers of America Michigan fed me, they got me out of the elements, clothed me and did right by me. They offered me an opportunity as a veteran to make a real change and I took it. I finally woke up and smelled the coffee after 50 years of bad choices.”
Cedric got clean and sober and began to set priorities for his life, living and working with the Veterans Housing Program - the same program underwritten by your charitable vehicle donations. Cedric’s story is not over. He’s still got a long way to go, but he’s hopeful that this time, he’s done it right. He’s on a life-long path of recovery and will continue to walk that path. “Now that I can think clearly, I can set goals for myself and visualize the path I need to take. I want my own home, a car and a job.” Just like any of us, Cedric just wants a life with stability, love and connection; and now, thanks to the programs funded by your charitable vehicle donations, he has a chance to have the life he’s always wanted.
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Volunteers of America Michigan is an official IRS recognized 501(c)(3) charity
Please help by donating cars
to vets programs
like these from Volunteers of
Homeless Veterans Reintegration Programs: You are donating cars to vets’ job training, employment and support services designed to help homeless veterans find new jobs. Homeless veterans have their basic needs met while learning job skills and life skills.
Veterans Housing Program: Housing and complete clinical services for homeless veterans.
Veterans in Progress Programs: Our veterans case management team provides clinical services and programs that help 80% of the homeless vets who enter the program return to independent living.
No matter where you live in Michigan, from Detroit to Kalamazoo, Flint, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Bay City or Marquette you help us fund these vital programs when you donate your car or truck. To learn more about how you can get the maximum tax deduction for donating cars to vets click on Taxes: Donate Car.