Working in a remote part of Chatham-Kent is tricky without a reliable vehicle. For Kirk Peters, he had been managing his commute from Wallaceburg to his job as part of a close-knit farm crew on Walpole Island any way he could. When Kirk was chosen as the recipient of a refurbished vehicle, his co-workers were just as excited as he was; they were the ones who encouraged him to apply to the Rebuilding Wheels, Rebuilding Lives program.
"It’s a game changer."
Established in 2019 but put on hold through the first year of the pandemic, Kirk is the second person to be gifted a car through the Rebuilding Wheels, Rebuilding Lives program, which seeks to provide a safe and reliable vehicle to a member of the CK community who has experienced transportation challenges.
A true community partnership, the program’s success is thanks to the collaboration of numerous businesses as well as students, service providers and citizens who all work together to donate, refurbish, register and award the car through an application process.
This year, Lally Ford in Tilbury donated a trade-in 2012 Chrysler Sebring for the program. It was passed on to John McGregor Secondary School in Chatham where, under the mentorship of teacher James Stonehouse, students repaired and refurbished the car, building important skills and confidence through the process.
The manuals needed for repairing vehicles are expensive and information the students need is not easily found online, so the Chatham-Kent Public Library has stepped in to paid for the licensing cost to carry ebook copies of the manuals to ensure they were available to students and anyone with a CK library card!
United Way Chatham-Kent happily provided fundraising and administrative assistance for the program, while Family Service Kent oversaw the application process and chose Kirk as the recipient of the vehicle!
"I love that this has been a true community effort. To my co-workers who first mentioned the program, to the students who did 100% of the work on this car, to the Lally Group for donating this new ride." said Kirk.
“I’m really thankful that all these programs work together to get this to happen, It’s a miracle.”
As for Kirk, he can now get to and from work on his own... as well as future gigs. With all that trunk space & room in the back for instruments, Kirk's band will probably designate him as driver whenever live shows start up again.