The year 2013 looked promising for Anjenette Hodges and her family. The mother of four was attending college and close to earning a degree in criminal justice.
Things didn’t go as planned. Seven months before Hodges completed her studies, the main aortic vessel in her heart burst and she landed in Riverside Hospital. This health crisis required open-heart surgery, followed by a long and difficult recovery. Her family’s life spiraled out of control, and they found themselves homeless as well as facing domestic violence.
Hodges’ faith was tested but never wavered.
“There is nothing He cannot do,” said Hodges, now 51, who lives in Norfolk, VA. ”Never give up! God has spoken to so many wonderful people, inspiring them to do marvelous things. Without these people to help me out, where would I be?”
Help first came through the efforts of ForKids, an almost 30-year-old local institution dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty for children and families. ForKids, which receives funding from United Way, helped Hodges find safe and stable housing for her and her children.
The next step was to acquire reliable transportation---a major concern for many in the community. According to statistics provided by United Way’s Greater Hampton Roads Community Indicators Dashboard, approximately 6.7 percent of households in the area don’t have a car. That situation severely limits access to local services such as grocery stores, post offices, doctor’s offices and hospitals.
“Having a car is something that many of us take for granted,” said Carol McCormack, president and CEO of United Way of South Hampton Roads. “Most households with above-average incomes have a car, while only half of low-income households do. Having this vehicle will mean a new level of independence for Anjenette.”
Things changed overnight for Hodges. GEICO donated a vehicle to be refurbished, and the company’s salvage team and Hall | MileOne Autogroup coordinated the repairs. This was under the auspices of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides Program. The end result was a 2015 Hyundai Sonata four-door sedan that was presented to Hodges this fall.