By Haley Wilson
The Birmingham Times
TAKE (Transgender, Advocates, Knowledgeable, Empowering), a Birmingham based non-profit dedicated to providing resources for trans women and men of color, on Tuesday received a donation of $20,000 and a 15-passenger van from Carvana, the online used car retailer known for its multi-story car vending machines.
The donations were a pleasant surprise during of Transgender Awareness Week, said Daroneshia Duncan-Boyd, Executive Director for TAKE.
“I was in shock when I first got the call from Carvana,” said Duncan-Boyd. “I was all over the place…in such emotion. I’m still on a cloud that this has even happened to us. So grateful.”
The van will replace a PT cruiser that was totaled in an October 15 wreck and allow transportation to and from events and programs hosted by the non-profit.
“We were using a PT cruiser originally,” said Boyd. “I would pile about 7-8 people in it…it had a massive oil leak and everything. But we were really making it by.”
Lauren Wilson, title and registration specialist and a part of Carvana’s PRIDE Committee, found TAKE after looking for an organization to partner with.
“I was in a local Facebook LGBTQ community group… in search of LGBTQ groups who were doing great work, and everyone kept mentioning TAKE,” Wilson said. “…I spoke with Mrs. Boyd and that’s when I knew for sure that TAKE deserved the van. Boyd and her team really do such an amazing job.”
TAKE began as a peer support group for trans women of color (TWOC) in 2015 and has since grown into an organization that breaks down barriers and sets standards for trans-related issues. The group focuses on issues that include discrimination in the workplace, housing advocacy, support for sex workers, providing trans-friendly services, and working to alleviate the many other barriers that TWOC face that no one else talks about.