NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Nashville woman was given a free 1998 Toyota Camry on Tuesday after years of walking in order to get to her job.
As part of Goodwill’s Wheels-to-Work program, 61-year-old Sharon Larocque was presented with the car during a ceremony after five years of employment with the company.
Larocque is a California native who experienced homelessness after moving to Nashville in 2016. She participated in Goodwill’s job training program at a downtown warehouse, tagging donated clothing. That program eventually led to a full-time job with the organization as a donations processor. She now processes jewelry in Goodwill’s e-commerce department.
“A lot of people don’t realize how difficult it is having to take two or three buses to get anywhere or having to go to the grocery store three times a week because you can only carry so much,” she said. “This car will give me safety and independence.”
Getting a car was one of two of Larocque’s major goals. She achieved the first one when she was able to get an apartment in 2018. But her second goal of getting a car wasn’t made possible until she was selected to participate in the Wheels-to-Work program on Tuesday.
“Sharon has been a dedicated and dependable team member at Goodwill for five years, and I’m thrilled that getting to work will no longer be such an obstacle to her life and career,” said Matthew Bourlakas, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. “Transportation is a significant barrier to employment and advancement for many people, and this program is one of many ways Goodwill’s donors are helping to change lives.”
📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts →
Since the program began in 2013, 17 people have received cars through the program. A selection committee made up of Goodwill employees from various departments helps to determine who is eligible to participate. The program is made possible through donated cars in good condition.
For more information about the program, click here.