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From no wheels to a Lincoln Continental, single mom benefits from FrankTown

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To get to the various places she needed to go — especially to her job — Candace Robertson had just a few options, none of which were very practical.

She could continue to rely on rides from family members, coworkers or friends to her work on the night shift at Red Lobster. There was the broken-down truck she could one day have repaired when she was able to save the money, or she could shop around for a used vehicle she really couldn’t afford.

Then there was the option she never even considered, one that was arranged by FrankTown Open Hearts through its automotive program.

“I got a call from Ms. Crystal [at FrankTown] on Tuesday, saying they were going to donate a car to me,” Robertson said Thursday as she stood by her car, a 1997 Lincoln Continental with only 60,000 miles put on it by a single owner.

“This will make such a difference. I have three kids who are extremely active and need to be taken to lots of different places, so this is wonderful.”

The car donated to Robertson was the 23rd vehicle FrankTown Open Hearts has given away through its FrankTown Automotive program, which is in its second year. The program empowers students by giving them hands-on learning for basic car repair and maintenance.  

Franktown Open Hearts hosts programming six days a week, during which inner city youth are fed, learn new skills, and empowered to break the cycle of generational poverty. In addition to automotive, other programs are arts & crafts, culinary arts, computer, sewing and woodworking, among others.

"It's so exciting every time we see this come full circle,” Brandon Tinnon, program director for FrankTown Automotive, said in a press release. “From the donor who gave the vehicle, to the repairs that went into it, and, finally giving it away to a deserving mother in the community. Car giveaways are good days for Franktown."

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