Save Jenn from the Short Bus!

Our current wheelchair accessible van is older than my daughter who is a junior in college. It has definitely seen better days, eating several thousands of dollars in upkeep throughout the last decade in order to coax it into surviving one more year. Recently, we have had multiple repairs done to the exhaust system, but it will not pass Maryland's emissions check. We are trying to get a waiver so we can still drive it without the certification, but we are not sure how long that will take or even if we will qualify. In any case, the wheelchair lift is also showing its age. It swings me out of the van now like it thinks it is a carnival ride. Frankly, I'm getting to the point where I scared to get in and out of the van now. It is becoming apparent that we need a new wheelchair accessible van.

I have been working with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to get a van that I can drive myself; therefore, avoiding my nightmarish daily commute to and from work via MetroAccess, also known as The Short Bus. (My stories of that transportation system's ineptitude are well known to family, friends, or anyone that remotely follows me on social media. To put it in a nutshell, The Short Bus routinely makes what would be 30 minute trips into 90 minute unwanted adventures.) The one caveat to this option, is that in order for DORS to assist with the extremely costly modifications to make this dream a reality, we need to buy a new or late model van. And we would prefer to get a Toyota or a Honda van because they have the best reliability ratings. (As my loving husband pointed out, "If we get a Toyota, it'll probably last over 20 years, which means it will probably be the last wheelchair accessible van we have to buy for you." Besides uncomfortably putting an expiration date on my lifespan, he does have a point.)

Obviously, such a purchase has an extreme price tag. Between the van, our portion of the modifications cost, and the specialized driver's training, we are facing somewhere around a $50,000 expense. And, as usual, we are woefully low on cash. I plan on getting a specialized vehicle loan designed for folks like me, but even with the lower interest rate, the monthly payment will be huge unless I can put a big down payment on it.

So, I am fundraising once again. I hope to get enough funds together to at the very least put a nice bit of cash down on the vehicle purchase. If I somehow come across a kindly millionaire benefactor, perhaps I can pay for the whole thing out of pocket. Between those two ends of the spectrum, any amount of money you can donate to this will help tremendously!

Please, save me from The Short Bus!


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    • $50 
    • 82 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
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  • Naomi Maggiora 
    • $25 
    • 82 mos
  • Dee Grade 
    • $5 
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Jenn Malatesta 
Silver Spring, MD
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