For a local single mother with four youngsters, having her very own vehicle to take to the grocery store was only a dream. On Thursday, July 28, 2016, that dream became a reality for Darmita Harris, when students in Franktown Open Hearts’ Automotive Program handed her the keys of a refurbished 1998 Mercury Villager van. The students also awarded a 2003 Nissan Xterra to Samajia Sawyer, fondly known at Franktown as Mondu.
Darnita says, “She is blessed and highly favored”. I am in dire need of transportation and I fill like God is moving in my life and doing wonderful things for me!”
Mondu says, “This is good. My mom will no longer have to pick me up from work; I can hang out with friends and not have to depend on people to take me places. I will not have to have car payments. This means a lot! Frees my budget and allows me save.”
Franktown Open Hearts is a non-profit dedicated to providing a safe haven and vocational mentoring for children who live in underserved neighborhoods. Their newest program has far-reaching benefits for students and recipients alike. The Franktown Automotive program receives donated vehicles, pairs students with mentors to repair the vehicles, and then donates them to deserving families and individuals in need of reliable transportation.
Lamar Holmes directs the Auto Program. “We teach the kids how to do simple things – change the oil, replace filters, rotate the tires, clean up the battery terminals – to get the car in driving shape and then donate them to families and individuals who require transportation. It’s a full-circle program that addresses a number of needs.”
Franktown Open Hearts Executive Director, Chris Barnhill says “it’s become a fun way to teach the students basic automotive skills that they can use forever, while also imparting life skills along the way.”
“The vast majority of our participants come from single-parent homes, and they might not have had the opportunity to learn these kinds of things, but they’re interested,” Barnhill said. “More importantly, it teaches them that they can learn how to work with their hands in a way that could inspire a career, and they get to see the tangible impact of their work first-hand.”
For more information or to get involved, contact Franktown Open Hearts office at 615-807-0782 or email us at email@example.com.
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