Sunderland man awarded car through Vermont-based nonprofit

  • Qu Za was awarded a 2014 Subaru Impreza by the Good News Garage nonprofit, which will allow him to transport himself to the gym while he recovers his strength following a stroke. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/16/2023 2:42:08 PM

SUNDERLAND — After suffering a stroke in March 2019, Sunderland resident Qu Za was left without a job, or a reliable way to get to work.

As he continues to recover strength in his right arm and leg, Za, 40, was connected with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, which in turn introduced him to the New England nonprofit Good News Garage. After working with the organization, Za was awarded a 2014 Subaru Impreza that will help him get to the gym, where he will rebuild his strength and eventually be able to work again.

“Because I have a car, I can go to the gym,” Za said. “It’s wonderful, I really appreciate being able to drive.”

Good News Garage, a car donation nonprofit based in Burlington, Vermont, provides affordable and reliable transportation options for families or individuals in need in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The organization was founded in 1996 and has helped car donors give more than 5,500 vehicles to neighbors in need.

In Massachusetts, car recipients work with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and must be employed or have a written plan for employment, among other criteria.

Za said he moved to the Pioneer Valley from Tibet about 12 years ago and had been steadily working at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in food services and as a janitor. The stroke, however, left him unable to work.

With his new car, which he said has been great in the winter weather, he plans to continue working with the Rehabilitation Commission to find a job as a food delivery driver.

“Right now, my strength is weak,” he said. “But driving this car is really good. … Without this support, I could do nothing.”

Beyond the already high bar to owning a car, Good News Garage said a national car shortage is driving those prices even higher, often making car ownership impossible for low-income individuals. Additionally, the nonprofit noted donation levels have decreased, while the need for used cars continues to rise.

“While we can’t solve the car shortage, we can certainly help some of those who are being hit the hardest,” Director of Operations Cash Cranson said in a statement. “However, our ability to help is limited by the number of car donations we receive. During this difficult time, choosing to donate your car is an act of kindness and compassion that makes a huge, immediate impact.”

For more information, including on how to donate a vehicle, visit

Chris Larabee can be reached at or 413-930-4081.


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