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Non-profit surprises young mother with car to help her get to school, work

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A single mother of three got a surprise in the lunch hour Thursday.

Angel Dotson had been in need of a knight in shining armor. On Thursday, some goodwill guardians handed her the keys to a silver Chevy Cavalier.

“We have a solution,” said Brad Lambert, co-founder Connections to Success. “This is your 2005 Chevy Cavalier.”

Dotson’s car broke down months ago. She got a job at a local hotel to earn money to purchase another vehicle. She finally bought another car, but the engine on that vehicle went out a week later.

“Imagine a situation where she has three children that go to three different places in the morning,” said Johanna Wharton, director of workforce development at SIUE East St. Louis Center. “She has to drop them off on the bus. She’s pushing one in a stroller and dropping them off at three different places and then get to school. So Angel did that for about four months.”

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s East St. Louis Center and Connections to Success presented Dotson with the Chevy on Thursday.

“It means I am more mobile and can move around a little more and go to the grocery store and spend all the stamps for my kids instead of getting two or three bags,” Dotson said. “It means a lot to me.”

“I just feel more motivated now. I just know I got people that got my back. I was just feeling alone, like I really didn’t have nobody, and God has shown me that I have people looking out for my best interests.”