Just recently Preston Harris and myself, Brandon McWilliams, received an eight passenger van from the great people at Because People Matter and Anderson Ford. This vehicle has been such a blessing to Men With Dreams and I would like to share a little story of how this van has changed our lives and the operation at Men With Dreams.
When Men With Dreams originally started doing programs at the schools we only had one vehicle to get us to where we needed to be. The car we were driving was my own 2001 Acura. This car had no heat, no air conditioning, no power steering and needed new tires. With this said we managed to use this car for everything from meetings to programs and even though it may have not have always been the to most enjoyable ride, we were blessed to be able to make it from point A to B.
After a few months of doing this, an unfortunate event happened leading to the Acura getting into a car accident and being declared totaled. At this point, the realization had hit that we didn’t have a vehicle to get to where we needed to be. After thinking about the situation for a while we were able to work out our schedules with our parents and managed to have a vehicle ready when needed. Some days I would drive my mom to school in the mornings so she could teach and then I would pick her up after schools was out.
Preston was also able to work it out at times to use his parents van. Needless to say this arrangement was putting stress on everyone involved. In March of 2015 we had the opportunity to get an office located in downtown Lincoln at the nonprofit hub. This allowed for us to be dropped off at the office while we would have people meet us downtown and only needed vehicles on the days of our programs. Eventually summer time came and we were able to take a break from programs and didn’t need a car as much. We would both ride bikes or walk to the office from our homes and continue to work on the mission of MwD.
Finally, good news came to MwD in September of 2015 when our board member Gina Cotton shared a resource with us and got us in touch with because people matter and Anderson Ford. This group was in contact with Preston for a couple of weeks and eventually called us and said that they had a van available for donation. On one morning in September, we went up to Anderson ford and they blessed us with the van. The van needed some work and quite frankly, most people might have looked at it and said “it’s not worth it” but Preston and myself were dedicated to making the van a new member of the MwD team; so we dubbed it with the nickname "Freight Train”.
Preston and I put in the work to deep clean the van as good as possible and then looked into options on how to get it serviced. Awhile back we had met a gentleman named Nick Vucko. Nick is the owner of Quick Nick’s Tires and offered to donate services and used a ton of man power and time to get the van road ready. Nick and his team worked for 4 days to get the van fixed up and road ready for us to use. Nick and his connections at NAPA auto parts put close to $4,000 of work into the van and brought it back to us ready to go! This was a huge blessing because if it were not for Quick Nicks and NAPA Auto Parts "Freight Train" might have struggled to make it through the winter time.
We are beyond thankful for the people at Quick Nick’s, NAPA, Because People Matter and Anderson Ford for everything that they have done for us. It has taken a huge stress off of our shoulders and now allows for us to not only to get to our programs but to transfer students whenever need be. We are in the process now of getting "Freight Train" looking good with MwD logos and its a great feeling know that she is road ready!