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By MARTY FINLEY
RADCLIFF — Radcliff resident Carrie Cassidy doesn’t have to worry about a ride anymore.
Cassidy, a single mother, has had to depend on borrowed cars to get to school and work. The lack of a car also forced her to move her 1-year-old daughter Isabella’s car seat more times than she would like to count.
But on Wednesday, North Hardin HOPE, an outreach organization in Radcliff that provides assistance to needy families in northern Hardin County, presented Cassidy with a 1999 green Dodge Neon.
“I’m ecstatic,” she said.
HOPE partnered with Cassidy last fall when she came in need of help to cover a bill.
Cassidy started speaking daily with Executive Director Priscilla Riddell-Terwilliger and quickly built a relationship, which eventually led to the car.
Riddell-Terwilliger said Cassidy exemplifies determination.
“She’s just doing everything she can,” she said.
Cassidy, who works and attends school at Jefferson County Community and Technical College in Louisville, was chosen a few months ago to receive the car, but the donation journey has been much longer.
Riddell-Terwilliger said the car has been parked in HOPE’s office parking lot for roughly five years but the car’s title has been in disarray for about three years. A charity organization in Florida donated the car to the previous director, Riddell-Terwilliger said, and some paperwork was lost.
With help from John Massie, owner of Massie Automotive, North Hardin HOPE was able to process the paperwork and get a clear title on the car. Massie also did some work on the car to be sure it was running properly, said the Rev. Art Leach, chairman of the North Hardin HOPE board.
Riddell-Terwilliger said the organization had received calls from people wanting the car and she was glad to finally be able to give it away.
Leach congratulated Cassidy as the car was presented to her.
“This beats the heck out of shoe leather,” he said to Cassidy, laughing.
Cassidy is partnered with North Hardin HOPE through Self-Sufficiency Intensive In-Home Case Management — a program still in its infancy, Riddell-Terwilliger said.
It began last year to help families set goals and overcome hurdles that potentially could rip the family apart. She said 12 families have been in the program so far. The program also provides discretionary funds to families for specific needs.
However, Riddell-Terwilliger has had to close many of her cases because funding has not been available. The program does not receive money from United Way of Central Kentucky, which is one of the key supporters of North Hardin HOPE. This has led HOPE to find money wherever it can, she said.
Even though she had to close the door on some cases, Riddell-Terwilliger said all of the families are still together and some have made significant changes in their lives. She said the program is important and allows more one-on-one time, which has led her to become close to all of the families.
“I’ve been a voice when they haven’t had one,” she said.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762.
HOPE FOR THE BEST
North Hardin HOPE provides emergency assistance in northern Hardin County. The agency’s office is at 620 S. Wilson Road, Radcliff, and can be reached at (270) 351-4673. For more information, go online to www.northhardinhope.org.