SCC In The News…
“The keys to success” (Boston Globe, 1.27.2023)
“Grand opening event!” (Arlington Advocate)
November, 2022: More Vocational Schools in 2022 Bodes Well for 2023
At the beginning of 2022 we had three vocational schools working hand-in-hand with us: Minuteman in Lexington, Northeast Metro Tech in Wakefield and Greater Lawrence. By the end of 2022, we added Greater Lowell and Northern Essex to the list! Our partner schools provide us with an amazing service by refurbishing our cars professionally and inexpensively. According school staff, we actually offer them something in return: School staff can teach in more depth given the unlimited time they have to fix our cars, and students have the exciting opportunity to meet the people whose cars they are fixing the cars and engage in giving back to their communities.
October 2021: First Car Detailing and Veteran Car Award event with corporate volunteers from Vertex Pharmaceuticals
A team of twenty Vertex employees were unleashed on eleven of our dirty cars on a beautiful October morning and attacked them with soap, brushes and a passion to help veterans. After the cars were cleaned a newly painted Hyundai SUV, donated by the widow of a Korean war veteran and repaired by local vocational school students, was awarded to a homeless veteran so he could get work—check out the media coverage via the links in blue!
November 2020: Newman’s Own Awards Second Chance Cars with a Prestigious $30,000 Grant
Second Chance Cars was honored on Veterans Day as the recipient of a prestigious Newman’s Own $30,000 grant in conjunction with the Fisher House Foundation and Military Times.
With over 330 organizations competing, we were one of only six 2020 recipients recognized for our work in support of veterans, military service members and their families. The selection committee was especially impressed with our innovative partnerships with local vocational schools that help us to refurbish our donated cars affordably and professionally.
To compete and to win such a prestigious grant (and during our first full year of operation no less) is a pleasant shock and an affirmation of our model and work. We are grateful to Newman’s Own, The Newman’s Own Foundation, Fisher House Foundation and Military Times.
A special thank you goes to our car donors and the many many partners that make up our Community of Goodness, and who have all made this award possible.
Watch the awards ceremony, which honors five 2019 and the six 2020 winners (which includes Second Chance Cars) here. https://events.militarytimes.com/noa2020/ (We are featured at approx. 32:41)
April 2020: Great media coverage this month! Our terrific partnership with Veterans Northeast Outreach Center and the Minuteman vocational school were featured on Channel 4 News and starred Aris, a young veteran and single parent. The national Volunteers of America (VoA) newsletter also featured a great story about Mike, a veteran who was referred to us by the VOA’s Massachusetts chapter. Mike got a car and now has a great and well paying full time job. In April we also received a record 8 applications from five of our seven partner social service organizations, approved 7 candidates and awarded cars to 6. Photos of some April recipients:
December 2019: Grand Opening! Car donors, recipients, social service partners and close to 100 other people attended SCCs’ grand opening on 12.17.2019. Originally scheduled to be held at SCCs’ office, the venue had to be moved to the larger Harvey Wheeler community center in Concord due to overflow attendance, with the smaller “after-party” taking place at the office. Here are video highlights of the party, including a couple of car awards, and after party…
Car donors, recipients and other members of Second Chance Cars’ “community of goodness” gathered in Concord MA on 11.17.19 to celebrate the launch of SCC followed by a raucous (by suburban standards) after-party at SCC’s office.
November 2019: A professor from UMASS Lowell donated a lovely 2008 Honda Fit and the good folks at Greater Lawrence Tech refurbished it with new tires, battery and more. While this was happening, Chino was introduced to us by Inner City Weightlifting. His SCC “car calculator” showed that he could increase his net earnings by close to $3000 annually after car expenses if awarded a car, not to mention be able to spend more time with his daughter. This coalition of generosity and competence — what we call our “Community of Goodness” — put Chino into a car he could not afford and that is poised to change his and his daughter’s life. (January, 2020 update: Thanks to the car, Chino is able to now work three jobs, from 6 AM to 10 PM, six days a week.)
August 2019: Second Chance office Space SCC is of course a nonprofit but did you know we are also a Massachuesetts-licensed used car dealer? This means that need to meet numerous state requirements including for our office space. Requirements include having a dedicated entrance just for our business, be located in an area zoned for used car dealing, and have dedicated parking spaces. We looked for months for a space that met all the requirements and were about to sign a lease on a small, dark space that required a lot of investment when, incredibly, we found this space a 40 second walk from our executive director’s house, and converted it into possibly the coolest used car dealer office in North America (low-bar, we know….)
July, 2019: Veteran Doug gets a car We awarded a mint, low mileage 2008 Toyota Corolla to Doug (second from right), a veteran working with Volunteers of America (MA). Doug is expected to at least double his income as a result of now having a car! In photo from left to right: Angela and Eric (VoA staff), Britty and car donor Corey, Dan (SCC), Doug (veteran) and Sam (SCC intern).
June, 2019: Veteran Ken gets a car It takes a village (or a “community of goodness” as we like to say) to award a great car to a great person. This community came together at Veterans Inc.’s annual Stand Down event to award a gorgeous and refurbished 2006 Subaru Legacy to Ken, a Vietnam veteran (far left, below). Featured from left to right are Tim Corey (Veterans Inc.), Dan Holin (SCC), Michelle Roche and John Primpas (Minuteman vocational school), Sue Katz (American Consumer Credit Counseling) and John Rizzi (SCC). Missing: Dave and Sue, the Subaru’s donors!
May 2019: CBCU Comes Through! Over the past six months we approached 18 banks, hoping to find one that would be able to offer our car awardees a 0% interest loan. Even though we could secure each loan, we got rejected repeatedly. We literally were about to give up when the City of Boston Credit Union came through, offering a 0% interest loan, free bank membership and an offer to help out with financial literacy training. CBCU also hosted our first “SCC learning community” partner training meeting. Thank you Dan Picard, Consumer Lending Manager, for making this partnership happen!
March 2018: Celebrating accomplishments at Red Bones After 6 months of hard work, the SCC Advisory Board celebrated the completion of its duties with a meal at RedBones in Davis Square, Somerville. From left to right, back row: Wade Rubinstein, intern Sam Copeland, Don Ryder, Tom Brigiotta, Jamel Bonilla, Jeff Smith, Jonathan Wachs and Kevin Sibley; Dan Holin and John Rizzi in front. Don, Tom, Jamel, Dan and John went on to join SCC’s founding Board of Directors, while Jeff and Kevin remain on in an advisory capacity.
December 2018: Getting an education Our board and staff continue to meet every three weeks to prepare for our program “roll out” in early 2019. Last meeting we were lucky to host and have a terrific conversation with Luis Rodriguez, a returning citizen, a business owner and a college readiness adviser employed by College Bound Dorchester.
A main goal for the coming weeks is to partner with a bank or credit union that will be able to not only administer our $900 micro-loans to car recipients, but also to report the loan payment to credit rating agencies.