In 2003, the job description for Equinox’s founder, and then president Andy Brown, called for extensive travel around the region to connect with landowners, land trusts, citizen scientists, and other clientele. He wanted something economical and environmentally friendly. Hence the purchase of a Hyundai Accent. He drove that car for a long time, but when he retired in 2012 it remained in the possession of Equinox and became a vehicle for our field crew who lovingly dubbed it the Red Rocket.
The Red Rocket’s practicality as a field vehicle diminished overtime. Although it remained a great vehicle to connect with landowners, staff questioned its utility as vehicle to transport ecologist and natural resource specialists to and from the long arduous field work necessary for many of our projects. This maybe because it doesn’t have air-conditioning. Imagine four sweaty guys piling in and riding two hours in 90 degree weather in 2-door compact without air-conditioning. As I leave you with that imagery, here is where the story gets good. We decided to donate the Red Rocket to Wheels4Hope Asheville.
Equinox staff (from left James Rogers, David Tuch – President, Owen Carson, Steve Melton -Vice President) donate a used car to Jamie Beasly, Wheels4Hope Asheville Executive Director
Wheels4Hope repairs donated cars and matches them with economically vulnerable people who need them. Wheels4Hope serves Asheville and Western North Carolina! Having reliable transportation can mean the difference between living in poverty and being in the middle class. A car that starts opens the door to education, employment, and an improved quality of life. In partnership with established, local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Homeward Bound, Helpmate, and Community Action Opportunities, and in collaboration with partner mechanics such as The Organic Mechanic and Precision International, Wheels4Hope in Asheville strives to provide vehicles to those without – one donated car at a time.
If you have an old car that has outlived its usefulness please consider this great organization.
Farewell Red Rocket.