‘It changed my life’: OnRamp gifts single moms vehicles

KBTX News 3 at Six Weekday EXTENDED(Recurring)
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 6:18 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Life demands a lot out of mothers, and especially those doing it all on their own.

In the last 10 days, local nonprofit, OnRamp, gifted four single mothers vehicles of their own. Over the past five years, OnRamp gave over 130 cars to clients, with nearly eighty recipients being single moms.

The four women who were gifted the vehicles within the last 10 days wish to stay anonymous.

Tiffany Thompson is a Bryan resident and single mom of four kids. She was one of the first people ever to receive a car from OnRamp.

“It was difficult at times. But, I also had a village of people to help me. My family and friends were very supportive. Some people don’t have that,” said Thompson. “Looking back on it, it changed my life. I didn’t have to ask for rides anymore. I was able to go to the places I needed to go.”

Now, Thompson helps others in her same position as a member of OnRamp’s Board of Directors.

”I’m on the Client Care Committee at OnRamp where we discuss giving the person a car and how to situate it all,” said Thompson. “In this town we don’t necessarily have a lot of external transportation like trolleys or anything like that. Being able to have a vehicle means freedom.”

Thompson was directly involved when choosing the four single moms that received vehicles this month. She emphasized that it’s more than just receiving a car.

“It’s a holistic approach. We make sure to provide assistance to counseling if they need it. We see if they need financial planning. So, its a lot of different resources. The car is the main thing, but its not the only thing. We’re a community,” said Thompson.

OnRamp Founder and President, Blake Jennings, told KBTX the need to help single parents is greater than ever.

With research Jennings and his team conducted, the average median income for all residents of Brazos county grew from $35,407 in 2010 to $49,362 in 2021. That’s a 15% increase, adjusted for inflation. In contrast, the average median income for single moms in the county only grew from $21,838 in 2010 to $24,962 in 2021, which is actually a 10% decrease adjusted for inflation.

“We, along with every other charity in town are seeing how inflation impacts all of us,” said Jennings. “I mean, just to buy the cars that we give to these people, the costs have doubled. But we’re continuing to find ways to fight that and raise money because as the supply of affordable housing, reliable cars, groceries, gas prices are squeezed it challenges everyone. But, it challenges those the most with the smallest margins.”

As economic challenges continue, OnRamp’s mission is to stick by their side.

“If a single mom doesn’t have access to a vehicle, she doesn’t have access to a job, to school, to health care, to community services, to anything,” said Jennings. “The bottom line is that a vehicle is absolutely essential. We just call this a partnership. It’s really not like we’re swooping in as the heroes of their story. They’re the heroes.”

For more information on OnRamp, click here.