Adapted Van Giveaway Essay Contest

Adapted Van Giveaway Essay Contest

One of the most amazing gifts we occasionally receive are adaptive vehicles. We run essay contests to identify potential candidates who could benefit greatly by receiving a donated van.



How to apply?


Essay Applications must be emailed to [email protected] as an attachment with the email subject line: "[Your Name] Adapted Van Giveaway Application"

Include a photo of yourself as second attachment.

No handwritten applications.

Essay Instructions?

Provide an autobiographical essay that describes how you were injured, the degree of your disability and how it affects your everyday life, how you currently stay active. what hardships you face preventing you from owning an adapted van, how you would use this accessible van to move forward with your life goals and endeavors. and any other factors that you wish to be taken into consideration.

Essay must be 1,000 words or less. Written using Time New Roman font.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be a California resident with a Spinal Cord Injury. Available to personally receive vehicle upon being awarded. Proof of income/financial constraint. Agree to participate in Triumph Foundation press and promotions regarding the Adapted Van Giveaway.

When is the submission deadline?


Who do I contact if I have any questions?

Contact [email protected] if you have any other questions.

Previous Winners

2023 : Kyle

Have you met the unstoppable force that is Kyle McKittrick? He applied to Triumph Foundation for help with a transportation solution, and we surprised him with an adapted van!

This is going to give him the independence and mobility he needs to continue serving his community with a passion.

At Triumph Foundation, we're all about providing momentum for individuals with disabilities and helping them achieve their goals. And we can only do that with the support of our amazing donors, like you!

Watch Kyle's amazing story above to see for yourself the impact that your support of Triumph Foundation has made.

2023 : Joseph

By most measures, Joseph has faced some of the toughest challenges anyone can endure. In 2003, a violent crime left him paralyzed from the neck down and relying on a ventilator to breathe. He was robbed of his mobility, his self-reliance, and the ability to provide and protect his family.

Joseph's love for his daughter and new granddaughter has kept him going and looking forward, despite his obstacles. He's determined to make a positive impact on the world, starting with his family.

Homebound without adequate transportation, an accessible van would be a game changer for Joseph, opening up new opportunities for him to be more involved in his daughter and granddaughter's lives, attend events, go to the store and doctor's appointments, and even go back to school.

We're thrilled to announce that with the help of our donors and supporters, you have made it possible for us to surprise Joseph with a ramp van!  Triumph recieved this van as a donation, so we repaired it and launched a special essay contest to donate it to the best recipient. Joseph applied and was chosen!

This incredible gift will help him live a better life and make a difference in the world. We're excited about his journey and adventures ahead as an abuello.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Triumph Foundation and our mission to help people with disabilities lead independent and fulfilling lives.

2020 : Rashida

Rashida Brown was injured in a gun accident when she was 13-years-old. When she first heard her doctor say the words “complete paralysis” she simply couldn’t comprehend what such a diagnosis could mean for a young and active girl. But she wouldn’t be held down.

As the years passed, Rashida learned to cope with her limitations and triumph over the challenges she faced. When she became a mother, she finally understood what it meant to have a purpose and to be needed for her strength. Now with 4 kids and 1 grandchild depending on her, transportation problems have been a constant struggle.

Rashida submitted her story to Triumph as an entry in our Adapted Van Giveaway. As you know, we love a good comeback story, so we surprised Rashida  with her very own adapted van.

2019 : Katlyn

On Thanksgiving Day of 1996, when she was 3-years-old, Katelyn was riding in the car with her mom and sister. They were involved in a horrific accident. Katelyn was the lone survivor, but suffered a C-6/7 spinal cord injury.

Despite her struggles, she grew up determined to become successful. She moved out on her own and is now in her final year of college at Cal State Northridge earning her Masters degree in Social Work.

Upon completion of adapted drivers training (provided through a Triumph Grant), she earned her license. She then applied to our essay contest hoping to receive a van to help her keep moving forward in pursuing her career after graduation.

2017 : Kenneth

Kenneth was on his way home from work as a firefighter when a car pulled in front of him and he was involved in a motor vehicle accident suffering multiple injuries to his spinal cord leaving him a quadriplegic. Since his injury he has had to make many adjustments, but has been determined to reclaim his independence so he can take care of his wife and daughter.

Triumph gave him a Care Basket when he was first injured, and now we gave him an adapted van. This van will enable him to take some of the strain off his wife as a caregiver and allow him to be involved with his family activities.

2016 : Richard Ruehle

Richard was on his way home from work when a car pulled in front of him and he was involved in a motorcycle accident suffering multiple injuries to his spinal cord leaving him a quadriplegic. Since his injury he has had to make many adjustments, but has been determined to reclaim his independence so he can take care of his wife and six children.

Triumph gave him a Care Basket in the hospital, a grant for ramps into his home, a wheelchair, and now an adapted van. This van will enable him to return to physical therapy, take some of the strain off his wife as a caregiver, allow him to attend and be involved with his kids sports and family activities, and ultimately return to a job that's waiting for him to provide for his family.

2014 : Maira

Maira applied and told us her story of getting injured when she was 10 years old, right out front of her house in South Central Los Angeles when she was an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire between rival gangs. She was shot and suffered a SCI at T-2 and forever her life was changed. She volunteers at Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center by being a mentor to the community there; she volunteers at SCRS in Downey, an Independent Living Center that assists all people with disabilities maximize their own independence and quality of life leading a women's support group; and now she plans to volunteer for Triumph Foundation by being an ambassador for the organization.

Maira graduated from Cal State Dominguez Hills with her Bachelors in Social Services. Her dream is to be a Social Worker. Having this accessible van will allow her to secure and maintain employment, begin and complete a Master's degree program, and help her family as she is the first one to own a vehicle. Triumph Foundation is proud to award Maira this van and applaud her efforts to serve the disabled community, pursue her dreams, and to live life to its fullest. We are honored to have her as our newest Triumph Ambassador.

2014 : Olivia