CarLink, Inc. M C

Non-Profit Org
Holland, MI 49423
Permit 30
513 E. 8th Street, Ste 25
Holland, MI 49423
Mobilizing Churches
Community Ministry
September/October 2007
CarLink, Inc.
Linking People To the Community
What’s Inside
• Family Focus - Melissa
• By the Numbers
• Financial Counselor - Ed VanderKooy
• FaithWorks Partnership
• Community Partner - Maplewood Auto
• Financial Counselors
• How does CarLink Work?
• CarLink History
Board Members
• Laurie Miedema, President •
• Sheri Holstege,
Vice-President •
• Steve Smallegan, Secretary •
• Jayne Venlet, Treasurer
Scott Spoelhof,
Larry Dykhuis
Carl Gabrielse
Carey Koele
Mari Martin
Eileen Nordstrom
John Query
Kim Tinholt
By the Numbers
In 2007, CarLink has
• Received 21 donated vehicles
• Placed 11 vehicles with families
• Coordinated over 95 hours of
Financial Counseling
Karen Diepenhorst
- First Reformed Church
Nancy Hardy
- Christ Memorial Church
Tom Hardy
- Christ Memorial Church
Ed Hartline
- Ridge Point Community Church
Elizabeth Krimendahl
- Christ Memorial Church
Shelley Lynn
- Third Reformed Church
Amanda Reenders
- Mars Hill Bible Church
Debra Salguero
- Misión de Fé
Rick Schreur
- Faith Reformed Church
Timothy Sluiter
- Western Theological Seminary
Cindy Stafford
- Victory Point Ministries
Beth Sterenberg
- Maranatha CRC
Ed VanderKooy
- Christ Memorial Church
Kirk Walter
- Our Lady of the Lake
Shelly Woodall
- Ridge Point Community Church
Melissa has lived in Holland her entire life. Growing u
way. Instead, she has had her share of heartache. Sh
in a happy and stable environment. She knows she is
have been there for her. They have helped her get to
degree and took her to work when she didn’t have a
“It’s been a great
experience! I’ve learned
things I can take with me
the rest of my life.”
- Melissa
Melissa learned a
for help paying h
learn how to sav
successfully com
catch?” She cam
nothing to lose.
When Melissa w
church financial counselor, Ed, she was in debt and d
her money. Ed showed her how to get organized an
a budget that has a surplus and is paying back her de
graduated from CarLink and received a 1999 Oldsmo
grateful to be able to drive herself to school and work
and sporting events, and to go grocery shopping.
Melissa is a great example of a family getting help from
Reliable transportation helps Melissa support her famil
to “enjoy trips to Timber Town with my son!”
-Ed V
Ed VanderKooy, 75, is a CarLink mentor from Christ M
so that individuals/families can get back on track. He w
clients have shared that he does much more than fina
and is an encourager. One of his favorite things to say
don’t have to make big changes in the beginning just
Ed grew up in Illinois learning the building trade from
was trained as an electrician but was temporarily assig
families on their personal finances.
He moved to Holland and went to Hope College, whe
worked in the Gaging field until he retired. Througho
counseling wherev
hours helping othe
meeting a lot of ni
see them turn thei
demonstrated Chr
Ed enjoyed workin
together and acco
complete, Ed cont
her efforts.
mily Focus
up, she always wanted an adventurous life - but in a good
he struggles financially and is trying to raise her six-year-old son
s blessed, though, because she has family and friends who
o classes at Baker College where she is working on a Paralegal
a car.
about CarLink from the Salvation Army when she went there
her rent and utility bills. When told that not only would she
ve and budget her money, she would also get a car if she
mpleted financial counseling, her first thought was, “What’s the
me to Good Samaritan to learn more and decided she had
was first matched with her
didn’t know how to manage
nd prioritize. She now uses
ebts. On May 10, Melissa
obile Cutlass. She is so
k, to attend her son’s school
m others in the community.
ly and even makes it possible
ial Counselor
Memorial Church. As a mentor, he provides financial counseling
works with up to a dozen individuals/families at a time. Many
ancial counseling. He is a person who truly cares about them
y to the people he works with is, “Take one step at a time. You
t so long as you are going in the right direction.”
his father. Later, Ed felt the calling to go into the Army. He
gned to Army Finance. In this position he counseled enlisted
ere he met and married his wife, Mary. After college, he
out his professional journey, he has used his gift of financial
ver it was needed. Since he retired, he has volunteered many
ers. When asked why he does this, he said that he truly enjoys
ice people and that it feels good to work with someone and
ir lives around. He shares that he grew up in a family who
ristian charity and he’s eager to do the same.
ng with Melissa. He sees that she really wants to get her life
omplish even more. Even though their CarLink counseling is
tinues to keep in touch with Melissa to encourage and support
Anna worked for a great company. She was
able to care for herself and her children and
contribute to her community. When Anna lost
her job, all that changed. She wasn’t able to
pay the rent and lost her home. That meant
that her kids lost their friends as they moved
from place to place. To make ends meet,
Anna’s family decided only to eat twice a
year—Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We all know that just doesn’t happen. No one
can choose to eat only at the end of the year.
We need nourishment, shelter, heat, medical
care, and transportation throughout the year.
Good Samaritan’s work goes on fifty-two
weeks a year, but our funding tends to come in
November and December. This is why we are
looking for FaithWorks partners - special faithful
friends who will stand with us each and every
month, making a regular, faithful gift and helping
us do Christ’s work in all seasons of the year. We
are looking for friends who are willing to donate
$25, $50, $100 or $200 or more each month to
allow the vital work of helping churches assist
those in need continue without faltering.
To sign up as a FaithWorks Partner, visit and click on
Donated or call 616.392.7159 ext. 109.
Consider becoming a FaithWorks
partner. Your gifts supports the Anna’s
in our community.
CarLink, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Good Samaritan Ministries.
How Does CarLink Work?
CarLink is a solution for families who do not have personal, reliable transportation. CarLink has three
partners - Ottawa County Department of Human Services (DHS) to select families; generous individuals
who donate road-worthy vehicles; and Maplewood Auto as a business partner that evaluates and
prepares the vehicles for new ownership. Clients are referred to CarLink through DHS. They need to be
working a minimum number of hours per week and have children to qualify for the program. After they
are referred, they have an assessment done through Good Samaritan Ministries. and are linked with a
financial counselor. Financial counseling is customized for each family to help them reach their personal
financial goals and to prepare them for vehicle-ownership. On average, families are eligible to receive a
vehicle within three months.
Each year through this partnership, families are able to meet their own basic needs. Through many hours
of counseling, mentoring, and support, these families are able to get to work, school, church and family
events reliably and on their own.
Community Partner - Maplewood Auto
Maplewood Auto, located at 242 E. 26th Street in Holland, has been a significant CarLink partner since the
beginning. Originally, they were one of several auto repair shops who agreed to inspect donated vehicles
and determine their appropriateness for a family.
After restructuring CarLink to allow for purchase of vehicles when needed, CarLink streamlined its
relationship with Maplewood Auto. They are now the sole auto repair facility
performing inspections and repairs on all donated and placed vehicles. They
also allow CarLink to use their dealership lot to show vehicles and arrange for
test drives of the vehicles for sale there.
CarLink and Good Samaritan Ministries thank Maplewood Auto for their
long-standing assistance, support and dedication to helping families in our
Back in 1999, the Ottawa County Department of Human Services came to Good Samaritan Ministries
seeking a solution to the problems they had been seeing when their clients lacked reliable transportation.
Without reliable transportation, people were having to rely on family, friends and public transportation
to get to work, school, church, the grocery store, doctor’s visits and other appointments and any other
community commitment. CarLink was developed as a way to meet this need.
CarLink was incorporated as a subsidiary of Good Samaritan Ministries and obtained a dealership license
in order to accept donated vehicles and transfer them to families in need. CarLink received its first vehicle
donation in fall of 1999 and placed its first vehicle with a family just a few months later.
As CarLink continued to work with families in need, it became obvious that using only donated vehicles
for placement was causing a long wait for families who had completed the counseling portion of the
program. In 2004, CarLink restructured its program to allow for the purchase of reliable used vehicles to
place with families if there were no donated vehicles available that fit their needs. However, giving families
donated vehicles remains our priority.
CarLink continues to work with the Department of Human Services to link families in need of
transportation to vehicles made available through generous donors. Reliable, safe vehicle are always
needed. To donate a vehicle go to or call 616.392.7159. Tax deductible
receipts are provided for fair market value of all donated road-worthy vehicles.