No-cost car ownership initiative with Atlantic Auto Group provides young people with the means to be self-sufficient and successful

October 25, 2016 (Deer Park, NY) – United Way of Long Island and the Atlantic Auto Mall in West Islip have provided an inspiring young man with a vehicle through the Switching Gears program, a crucial partnership that provides young people with the opportunity to own an affordable and reliable pre-owned vehicle, at no cost. Switching Gears helps those that are dealing with transportation difficulties gain independence and confidence by having consistent access to a vehicle of their own.

The program could not have come at a better time for Anthony, who is an iron worker on the Verrazano Bridge and travels a long distance between work and his home in Suffolk County. Anthony grew up in an abusive home, without a positive role model to emulate. He enrolled in YouthBuild in an effort to build a better life for himself and his newborn daughter. Failure was no longer an option for Anthony, who earned his GED and graduated YouthBuild in 2015. After completing a pre-apprenticeship training program that provides direct entry into the local union, he quickly secured his new career working as an apprentice for Local 361 Union Structural Iron workers on the Bridge. His prior vehicle was unreliable and unsuitable for his commute, and a potential danger when he traveled with his wife and their two young daughters.

“Lack of transportation can be a hindrance to families who are working hard but cannot find the means to get to their job,” said Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island. “Anthony has the opportunity to be successful in a promising career, and by partnering with Atlantic Auto Group to provide him with this car, we can help him continue on this path.

“My family could not be more grateful to receive this car,” said Anthony. “Knowing that I can get back and forth to work and not have to worry about breaking down, and that my daughters will be safe in the backseat, relieves a lot of stress from our lives.”

Participants in the program receive a warranty that includes yearly maintenance on the car and membership to United Way’s ‘Car Club’, which helps to educate the recipients on how to care and maintain for their vehicle and provides access to supportive services and referrals.

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About United Way of Long Island

United Way of Long Island advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all by focusing on the three key building blocks of education, financial stability, and health. We recruit people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise, and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. United Way of Long Island is part of a worldwide network spanning across 41 countries and territories, including more than 1,200 local organizations in the U.S. For more information about United Way of Long Island, please, Facebook or Twitter.

About the Atlantic Auto Mall

Atlantic Hyundai and Nissan have been serving Long Island for well over 50 years. Whether it is a new or pre-owned vehicle, service, or parts; Atlantic has you covered. With over 1,200 vehicles on the ground at all times, it is no wonder why both the Hyundai and Nissan point are perennial volume leaders in both New York and the country. For More information please log onto or or call 631-587-0700.

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