Cars of Hope donates vehicle to needy family Saturday in Naperville

Romas Povilonis, Cars of Hope director, has a name for what happened Saturday, one others might associate with every other Friday or the 15th and 30th of each month.

"This is payday for us," Povilonis said.

Povilonis and his volunteer organization, which gives vehicles to families who have fallen on hard times, presented a used blue Honda Odyssey minivan to a local family Saturday at Community Christian Church in Naperville.

"When you are with the person themselves and you are giving it to them, they are so appreciative," Povilonis said. "It's just wonderful to work with people like that. We really enjoy the experience."

Cars of Hope is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that gives away four to five cars a year. To get to its goal of 24 vehicles, it needs more donations. It also take vehicles that don't end up being given away, using them to raise funds that go toward improving the condition of the donated cars.

For example, the minivan Saturday came with a new tires and brakes.

"We don't want it to break down," Povilonis said. "We tell shops, 'Imagine you are sending your daughter off to college out of state, what would you do to the vehicle that they won't have any issues to deal with for a number of years?'"

The group works with Hesed House, Caring Network, Nativity House, Safe Families For Children of Chicago, Wayside Cross Ministries, World Relief, Grace Church of DuPage, Village Baptist Church and Community Christian Church to ensure the vehicle will help the recipient.

"In the suburbs it's really hard to get around. A vehicle is a must," Povilonis said.

If interested in donating a vehicle, call (224) 216-2277 or go to

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