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OffLeaseOnly Donates Used Hyundai to Deserving Youth!

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OffLeaseOnly Donates Used Hyundai to Deserving Youth!

When former foster child Queena Ward arrived at OffLeaseOnly Orlando, she thought she was on a routine car shopping trip.

An elated Queena Ward, 20, sits behind the wheel of her donated OffLeaseOnly used Hyundai Sonata, surrounded by television cameras.

An elated Queena Ward, 20, sits behind the wheel of her donated OffLeaseOnly used Hyundai Sonata, surrounded by television cameras.

The young woman let out a scream when she realized the gleaming gray Hyundai Sonata with the big red bow and the huge cluster of balloons was actually a surprise gift for her. The donated used car meant Ward would have wheels to travel to her job and to college.

OffLeaseOnly 2006 used Hyundai Sonata was donated to Queena Ward for her determination and drive.

OffLeaseOnly 2006 Used Hyundai Sonata was donated to Queena Ward for her determination and drive.

“I got a car! I got a car! This is so real! This is priceless,” an elated Ward shouted, as TV cameras captured the happy moment and case workers from the Children’s Home Society of Florida and other support programs videotaped her joy with their cell phones. “Thank you!”

Ward also received $250 in donated gas cards from an anonymous donor, who said he had contacted five Orlando-area car dealerships to help Queena and none even returned his phone calls.

Queena Ward holds $250 in donated gas cards from a local philanthropist who supports the Faine House (Faine Makers).

Queena Ward holds $250 in donated gas cards from a local philanthropist who supports the Faine House (Faine Makers).

OffLeaseOnly LOGOOffLeaseOnly owners Mark and Eileen Fischer donated the 2006 gray used Hyundai Sonata to Ward in recognition of her determination to succeed in life despite daunting odds. Ward, who works full-time and attends college full-time, dreams some day of landing a job in sports medicine.

“She deserves it,” Rebecca Moses, a youth advisor who has worked for years with Ward. “She works hard.”

Queena Ward looks at the online inventory at OffLeaseOnly Orlando unaware that she would soon be receiving the gift of a donated Hyundai.

Queena Ward looks at the online inventory at OffLeaseOnly Orlando unaware that she would soon be receiving the gift of a donated Hyundai.

Caseworkers from the Children’s Home Society and other social service agencies involved with Ward’s case told the young woman she was going to OffLeaseOnly Orlando to car shop. But when Ward stepped outside to stroll the car lot, she found herself standing next to a shiny gray Hyundai adorned with balloons and ribbon, as television cameras and cellphone cameras rolled.

“I really didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what this was about,” Ward said, smiling broadly, her new car keys in hand. “When I came out and saw all the cameras pointed at me, I knew something was up.”

 As a child, Ward was shuffled from one relative’s home to another, with no family structure or stability. She often found herself in trouble.

TV cameras surround Queena Ward as she sits inside her OffLeaseOnly donated used Hyundai Sonata outside OffLeaseOnly Orlando.

TV cameras surround Queena Ward as she sits inside her OffLeaseOnly donated used Hyundai Sonata outside OffLeaseOnly Orlando.

When she turned 18, her struggles continued as she had aged out of foster care and was in and out of several schools. Facing homelessness after a disastrous stint on her own, Ward accepted help offered by The Children’s Home Society’s Faine House and began to learn the life skills she needed to succeed.

Queena Ward poses on the hood of her donated OffLeaseOnly used Hyundai Sonata outside OffLeaseOnly Orlando.

Queena Ward poses on the hood of her donated OffLeaseOnly used Hyundai Sonata outside OffLeaseOnly Orlando.

Queena Ward is surprised in the OffLeaseOnly Orlando parking lot with the gift of a donated gray Hyundai Sonata.

Queena Ward is surprised in the OffLeaseOnly Orlando parking lot with the gift of a donated gray Hyundai Sonata.

Her goals were threefold: To earn a high school diploma, to get a job and to save enough money to buy a car. She works the night shift at a local Walmart and is currently enrolled in classes at Seminole State University.

“I met her when she was 14 and an angry little kid with a mouth on her,” said her case manager Frank Altoman. “I am now convinced that the sky is the limit for her. It’s an amazing thing.”

Altoman said Ward struggled with everything from authority and structure to social skills and responsibility. She bounced among five different high schools, several alternative schools and foster care homes before aging out of foster care and finding herself on her own.

Within three months of getting her own apartment, the lights and water were turned off and she was evicted. The Faine House was her saving grace.

Queena Ward holds up the keys to her first car, an OffLeaseOnly used Hyundai Sonata.

Queena Ward holds up the keys to her first car, an OffLeaseOnly used Hyundai Sonata.

She moved there in December 2013 where she has blossomed into a confident and talented young adult. She received her high school diploma on June 19, 2015 and landed a job at Walmart where she has stocked shelves and worked as a cashier.

Queena Ward celebrates her new car surrounded by "Team Queena," the people who helped her succeed. (left to right) Meinrad John, Keri Flynn, Kristie Burk, Cheryl Distler, Queena Ward, Rebecca Moses, Ashley Kelley.

Queena Ward celebrates her new car surrounded by “Team Queena,” the people who helped her succeed. (left to right) Meinrad John, Keri Flynn, Kristie Burk, Cheryl Distler, Queena Ward, Rebecca Moses, Ashley Kelley.

“I am proud of her and I am really amazed that she was able to overcome her background.The odds were really against her not to be successful,” Altoman said.

The Fischers were touched by Queena’s struggles and were proud to help make her dream of a car come true!

“We are thrilled to support the work of the Children’s Home Society,” Mark Fischer said. “The services provided by The Faine House change lives. We also wanted to do what we could to help make Queena’s difficult life easier. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

Queena Ward stands proudly next to her OffLeaseOnly used Hyundai Sonata outside OffLeaseOnly Orlando.

Queena Ward stands proudly next to her OffLeaseOnly used Hyundai Sonata outside OffLeaseOnly Orlando.

The Fischers also own used car dealerships in Lake Worth and Miami, FL and will soon be opening stores in North Lauderdale and Tampa. They are regular contributors to charity, especially those involving children.

The Faine House offers assistance to at-risk young adults who have aged out of foster care, teaching life skills involving education, housing, transportation, employment, health & wellness and personal finance.

We are so proud to be in a place where we can truly give back to our community. The loyal customers in the Central Florida region have embraced OffLeaseOnly to levels no other dealer in Orlando has ever experienced. We were honored to have the opportunity to assist Queena Ward in her quest for success and are grateful to the local media who helped support the event and get the message out about the wonderful charities that helped change Queena’s life.

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