GREEN — Christopher Haymond Jr. and his wife, Dorothy, came to the United Community Action Network in December seeking help to pay their energy bill. They were notified days later the agency would help and do one better — give them a car.
“It humbled me quite a bit,” said Christopher Haymond, 33.
The couple came across a flier while at UCAN that said the agency would donate a vehicle to someone in need. Dorothy Haymond, 30, signed them up.
They were chosen from nine other applicants who submitted letters explaining why they needed a car.
“I was like, ‘You’re joking, right?’” Dorothy Haymond said. “I almost hung up the phone when they called.
“It was a good Christmas present,” she said. “It was just a godsend.”
UCAN is a private nonprofit agency that operates throughout Douglas and Josephine counties to assist low-income families and individuals.
Alizabeth Kottwitz, UCAN program coordinator, said an anonymous donor gave the agency a 1999 Ford Taurus in November. UCAN advertised to its employees and clients it would give the car away.
Applicants had to write a letter and meet other guidelines, including not already having an operable vehicle.
They also had to show they had a driver’s license and could afford to buy insurance and keep the car running, Kottwitz said.
“It was a really tough decision. We wish we could have given a car to everyone,” she said.
Dorothy Haymond said the couple need reliable transportation to take their 5-year-old autistic son, Avery, to his doctor appointments, some as far away as Portland.
Christopher Haymond, who is a caregiver for his sister, said he often needs transportation to drive her places she needs to go. The family’s previous car was falling apart and once broke down on its way to Eugene for an appointment, he said.
“It’s hard to feel comfortable in that car,” he said. “I was always afraid we would get stranded somewhere.
“(The new car) keeps my family safe, and I can relax a little bit,” he added.
Kottwitz said UCAN has only received a couple of vehicles in the past few years.
She said people interested in donating a vehicle can stop by UCAN, 280 Kenneth Ford Drive in Roseburg, to have their vehicle inspected.
• Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
It was a good Christmas present. It was just a godsend.
car donation recipient