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Cars for Kids - Car Donation Program in Montana
Unlock the Power of Giving: Donate Your Car in Montana
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Unlock the Power of Giving: Donate Your Car in Montana
Are you looking for a meaningful way to make a positive impact in Montana? Consider donating your vehicle to Cars for Kids Car Donation Program. By choosing us, you're not just getting rid of an old car; you're creating opportunities for those in need and supporting vital community initiatives.
Why Donate Your Car in Montana?
Support Local Causes: Your car donation supports local Montana charities and organizations. From helping underprivileged children, your contribution directly benefits your community.
Tax Benefits: When you donate your car in Montana, you may be eligible for a tax deduction. Our team provides you with all the necessary paperwork to maximize your tax benefits.
How Our Car Donation Program Works
Christian and his father have known many closed doors.
After a medical discharge from the US Army, Christian’s father began a heating and air conditioning business. For a time, the business grew, and things were going well.
Christian’s mother, however, had developed a worsening drug habit. His worried father often woke up in the middle of the night, fearing he would find her dead from an overdose.
“My father,” Christian says, “gave my mother an ultimatum: it was either us or the drugs.
“She chose the drugs,” he remembers.
When his mother made her choice, Christian was all of eight.
A month after she left, Christian’s father encouraged him to visit her at his grandmother’s home, where his mother had been staying. Though deeply disappointed in her and not wanting to see her, he went. He spotted the family vehicle in the driveway of his grandmother’s house, but when he knocked on the door, no one answered. Then, he spotted a window curtain move and plainly heard his mother’s voice: “Don’t open the door.”
Shortly thereafter, Christian’s father got sick with pancreatitis. He was weakened and unable to work. Christian had to learn to care for his father, cooking small meals and helping his father to and from the restroom.
Christian’s mother, meanwhile, gutted the family’s savings account.
With no savings and no income, Christian and his father eventually saw the electricity cut and the water shut off. Baths were taken using gallons of water purchased from the store, meals were cooked by the grill, and clothes went unwashed. Christian’s homework had to be done while the sun was still up. He was bullied at school for his unwashed clothes.
Thanks to the generosity of their local Catholic church, Christian and his father received enough money to turn the electricity and water back on. His father could pay for the medical treatment he needed. Christian and his father felt stronger in their faith, and they continued to enjoy cooking out on the grill—which had become a bonding activity for them.
During his junior year, Christian was doing well. He was keeping up with his studies and excelling in a welding program. However, their home of many years was falling apart. The landlord, unwilling to cover the costs of repairs prescribed by the housing authority, locked Christian and his father out of their home. They could not afford the deposit on a new place to live.
For a month, Christian and his father were homeless, and they slept behind dumpsters. When they did find an apartment, it was in bad shape. Need forced them to take it.
Two more obstacles stood in their way. Following multiple ignored requests to address the apartment’s safety hazards, Christian’s father tripped on the ripped carpet in their living room, injuring his knees and losing some mobility.
“I’d had enough,” Christian recalls. He felt that, because of his family’s limited resources, they were being overlooked. Motivated to right a wrong, he made a close study of the lease: the landlord was in violation of the Fair and Equal Housing Act. Christian took action. Thanks to his advocacy with the housing authority, Christian’s father’s medical expenses were covered by the property management’s insurance provider, and a state inspector made an inspection of the entire property.
Still there was the second obstacle. Because he had missed too many days of school during their month of homelessness, Christian faced repeating his junior year. It was a blow.
Friends told him about Texans Can Academies and its accelerated curriculum recovery. When he and his father came for enrollment, however, they thought they had encountered yet another closed door—the school required uniforms, and he and his father could not afford it. They prepared to walk away.
Thanks to the school’s Whole Student program, however, Christian’s uniform was paid for. The same day, the school’s principal met with Christian and his father and took them to lunch in the cafeteria.
“That meant a lot to us,” Christian says.
The very next day, Christian was able to start school and get back on track.
From then on, Christian experienced the school’s generous welcome. When food was scarce, he availed himself of the school’s food pantry, and, in the classroom, he found the academic support he needed.
“The staff at Can have been great. They have shown me so much hospitality. My history teacher, Mr. Rodriguez, helped and encouraged me. He was very straightforward and set high expectations for me.”
“Because of the Can, I didn’t have to repeat my junior year,” he says.
Christian graduated from Texans Can in June 2019, and, taking advantage of the GI Bill and a scholarship made possible by proceeds from an annual community luncheon, has enrolled in St. Philip’s College’s pre-law program.
Christian and his father continue to enjoy cooking out on the grill together, and, with faith in God, they both look forward to a future of open doors.
“I am thankful the Can was there for me. I know I have a lot more to give, and a lot more to achieve.”
My home life was a wreck. I never knew a time in my childhood that I didn’t see my mother drinking or having different men at my home after my parents divorced.
I was so young that I felt that I may have been the cause of the split.
Later, I was thrown out of my mother’s house when I was in the 6th grade. I felt horrible about leaving my younger sister behind, but I was just a child myself and went to live with my dad.
My father had to drop out of college to support me.
Overtime, anger issues began to plague my life. I would become frustrated which often times led to getting in trouble both at school and in the community. I was a stubborn student and did not have a true sense of purpose.
After only a month of being a freshman, I dropped out of school for a year. Somehow I found San Antonio Can High School. Later I would come to realize it must have been my fate to land at San Antonio Can, especially being that I can’t remember how I heard about it in the first place.
My first days at San Antonio Can were filled with anger and resentment towards life itself. I did not understand why we did Marquez Reading or FIE let alone why school was so important.
On my 18th birthday my birthday present to myself was to leave high school for good. So I did.
I spent the next year at home, playing video games, smoking marijuana, and not being productive. I wasn’t going to school and I wasn’t working. However, that being said, something good did come from this bad if you will.
During this time I started to become self-aware. I started to realize that I was fighting a battle with my alter ego.
See, part of me didn’t care if I finished school and didn’t see the point in graduating. Yet another part of me wanted to BE someone, wanted to DO something with my life. I wanted to accomplish things and have purpose in life.
After about one year of this, I decided the only way I was going to get there was by finishing high school. That was going to be the first step in my journey to success and living a life with real value and true purpose.
This year, I returned to San Antonio Can with hope, but couldn’t get past my bad behavior. Until Mr. Tribett, the principal, and Ms. Franklin, my advisor gave me an intervention. I was able to not only hear their side, but also take it into full consideration. I was able to reflect on this and better understand my own position in life and where I wanted to go.
Mr. Tribett was the only person that believed I could change. I thank him for giving me that chance.
The next school day the renaissance began, this rebirth was enlightening. To this day I am forever grateful. It didn’t take too long before the staff and faculty of San Antonio Can High School started to witness the change in me.
Since my return I’ve experienced things I never would have imagined. For example attending the Broadway Musical Jersey Boys, participating in Learning from Leaders, Job Shadow San Antonio, and becoming actively engaged in student activities.
Along with all the support the school provides, such as eye glasses, immunizations, mental health services, and a great college readiness program at no-cost to me, I know I will be ready for what’s next. I’ll be able to walk through the doors that lead to the next set of challenges and accomplishments in my life through education.
After graduating from San Antonio Can High School I plan on obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and returning to Texas Can Academies to teach. I believe that the mission and vision of our CEO, Richard Marquez and Chief of Schools, Dr. James Ponce, can reach even more students across our great state, and I’m proud to be a part of this movement.
At the age of 12, Kim’s mother loaded the family car with a few belongings and her four children leaving McAllen, TX and a failed marriage to the past.
Though her mother held two jobs to make ends meet, the family squeezed into a one bedroom apartment in East Austin. “We didn’t have a bed. We had one pull-out couch, and I would rather have my brothers and my mom sleep on it than me. She worked so much,” Kim remarks.
“You wish you could do so much more to help the people you love, but I wasn’t old enough. I really wasn’t old enough – I was 14. I was still a kid, but I never really felt like a kid because I always had such a heavy weight to carry.” Kim’s love for her brothers can be compared to that of a mother’s love. Ray, a younger brother, was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of three. Ray’s treatments required the family to stay in the Ronald McDonald House for extended periods of time. Ray has since entered remission and undergone more treatment, but this hardship changed Kim’s personal understanding of her role in supporting the family and sparked her interest in pursuing the medical field.
Ultimately, the burden of caring for her brothers affected her attendance and led to her dismissal from her local high school. Austin Can Academy was not a part of the plan Kim set for herself. Principal Oakes remembers, “She had a hard time adjusting in the beginning. It was obvious she didn’t want to be here, but it only took that first day for her to realize that we were here to support her. After that day, it clicked. She was unstoppable.”
“Austin Can teachers taught you more than you needed to know. When I asked a questions they offered answers that lead me to more thoughtful questions. Austin Can makes you feel like family. You don’t feel, how do you say it in English? I want to say ‘No estorbes,’ like you’re not a bother. If I didn’t make it to school on time, I got text messages and phone calls. When your parents can’t be there to push you, the advisors are there to keep you on track. My mom didn’t talk to me about college – Austin Can did that.”
Graduation was so close Kim could feel it. She came rested and ready for her state exams, and then the worst happened – she didn’t finish her English exam within the five hour time limit. Six weeks later, the news that she failed her English STAAR exam hit her hard but she was positive. “Not passing the STAAR test wasn’t the same rejection I felt from other times in my life. I had support around me telling me that I needed to study a little harder. You can’t lose hope with that kind of support,” remarks Kim.
While continuing to study for her state exams, Kim completed her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training and certification at Austin Can. “The Certified Nursing Assistant program allowed me to start working above minimum wage. This certification isn’t the end all, it is the first step into the medical field. Now, I’m working on my Medical Aid Certificate. I’m making a decent amount, and I can continue my classes without having to pick up extra shifts. I’ve been helping the other CNA students get jobs – one of the girls has a house now. Nursing opens so many doors. I enjoy what I do. I want to make a difference in someone’s life.”
Kim has since graduated from Austin Can and continues the effort to surround herself with positive, driven and empowering people. “When you hang around with people who are not on an upward path, you’re not going to change. When you decide to make a change, you have to make the choice about who you spend your time with. Even if it is family or friends, if they don’t get it – you have to remove yourself.”
“The students – we don’t have a lot, we’re not lucky like others. The support people give to the school takes a weight off of our shoulders. It’s a chance for us to become something or somebody. There are people my age who have two jobs. When I tell people about my high school experience, they wish they would have known about Austin Can. The Can doesn’t let you walk out with your diploma, they’re going to help you create those first steps.”
“Honestly, I’ve never felt so stable and happy. Austin Can gave me a confidence to make it through the tough times. In times that I felt like giving up because of the obstacles in my life, Austin Can changed my way of thinking and acting in hard situations. You take what you’ve been through and you take what you’ve seen and you use that to make an impact. I may not be the one to break the chain, but I at least want to be the one to weaken it. I tell my brothers, they can do this – they can make it.”
Kim currently works as a CNA while continuing her coursework to be a Medical Aid. She plans to pursue a degree in nursing and work with children with chronic disease. “Where do I see myself in five years? It’s not so much where I see myself, with an RN degree you can do so much. How I want to feel in five years – I want to be happy. I want to love what I do and want to move forward in that. I just want to be happy really.”
Alexis has been enrolled in Houston Can! since the 10th grade. She was frustrated in her previous large public school because of the class sizes and interruptions. Other kids were “class clowns” and disruptive in the classroom and often prevented the teachers from teaching. She wanted to learn and felt like her time was being wasted by the other students and teachers. She would get mad and say things to the teachers about their lack of classroom control, which got her in trouble. She said she had a lot of attitude problems with the situation that she should have handled better. Her attendance began to suffer. She would do her work, turn it in and leave class. She would go to all three lunch periods and miss class. Her grades were good but her attendance was very bad and she didn’t receive credits for the classes.
A friend told her about the Can! and she decided to enroll. She liked the way the class sizes were small, classes were concentrated to core subjects and were half days. She struggled with math concepts since elementary school but the teachers at the Can! simplified the information and made it easy for her to understand. She passed the math portion of the TAKS test the first time she took it at Houston Can!
Alexis was able to graduate on schedule for her age in spite of the lost credits from her previous high school. Growing up was not easy for Alexis. She said she was “tugged and pulled” in several directions from a young age. She had lots of anger issues. Her Dad worked three jobs to support the family so was not around much for guidance and leadership while she was growing up. She met her mom when she was 16. She has had to work to help support herself since she was 16 and is “pretty much on her own now.”
My name is Kaya and I am a Texans Can Academy alumna.
Originally from a rough Chicago neighborhood, Kaya was frequently in fights.
“That was the only way I knew how to deal with things,” she says. “It was important to show others in the neighborhood I could protect myself.”
Despite a move to Arlington that brought positive change to her family, Kaya still fought at school and skipped classes. She reached out to teachers and advisors for help, but they seemed either busy, or like they didn’t know how.
In December 2017, Kaya was involved in another fight at school. This time, she was arrested. She calls the experience “eye-opening.”
“I can do better than this,” she decided.
After the arrest, with public school no longer an option for her, Kaya learned of Texans Can and enrolled at the Carrollton/Farmers Branch campus.
“It was so different,” Kaya says. “Other students were positive. Everyone had a story and a mission they are trying to accomplish for their lives. The teachers and advisors were supportive and showed me that I was welcomed and cared for.”
During her time at the Can, Kaya never missed a class. She joined their championship-winning golf team, on which she served as captain; went from failing to straight A’s; passed the SAT with a score of 1270—which is above average—and applied to over thirty colleges.
Kaya is also a recipient of the Ann and Nate Levine Scholarship, which she will apply to her college education.
“My plan is to join the reserves and then go to college directly after boot camp,” she says. “I want to study psychology and form a career around helping girls like myself who are in difficult situations.”
Kaya graduated from Texans Can – Dallas in 2019.