Buchanan puts shelter resident in the driver’s seat

“I rode a bicycle for a couple of years,” said Lorie Ann Buchanan, “and that gave me an idea how hard it is to get around without a vehicle.”

Lorie Ann was fortunate that her generous family was able to ease her transportation needs. When her grandmother Janet Buchanan had hip surgery and stopped driving, Lorie Ann started driving her car and eventually inherited it. So when she had the opportunity to drive a newer car and wondered what to do with her trusty Buick, she thought back to the challenges of getting everywhere by bicycle or finding rides. And she imagined how much strain that lack of independence would add to the life of a woman already experiencing significant challenges.

It wasn’t a big leap to think of the YWCA’s domestic violence shelter residents, because her grandmother Janet was a YWCA board president and an enthusiastic supporter of the domestic violence program. Lorie Ann remembers having a family table at the fundraising luncheons and always knowing that her grandmother cared about helping women in crisis. In fact, at the 2010 luncheon, Janet was honored as a YWCA Leader of Distinction for her service to the YWCA. “She was an amazing lady,” said Lorie Ann.

The YWCA can provide documentation of a donation if a vehicle is first signed over to the organization and the YWCA then provides it to a woman in need, but Lorie Ann opted to keep the transfer simple by signing it directly over to the client of the domestic violence program. And when she arrived at the office to hand over the keys, she was happy for the opportunity to meet with the recipient. “She was sweet, and meeting her gave me a chance to cover Bessie-the-Buick’s quirks!”

As Lorie Ann headed back to her car, she discovered another benefit of giving—when she heard footsteps running after her, she turned around for a surprise hug from the client’s daughter.

“It feels good to be able to help,” said Lorie Ann. “I hope my grandmother’s car will make their lives a little easier.”