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Nonprofit Provides Green Rides For Children, Expectant Moms

Photo Courtesy Green Cars for Kids

Green Cars for Kids (GC4K) helps children and expectant mothers with free medical visit transportation. The Florida-based nonprofit was founded in 2021 by Dr. Catherine Toms to help low-income children and expectant mothers in Florida get to and from health care visits with electric cars. 

Children and expectant mothers are at high risk for air pollution’s harmful health risks, especially in lower-income communities. GC4K wants to lessen those risks while reducing air pollution.

“We envision a world in which every child and pregnant person reaches their full health potential unhampered by transportation barriers,” the organization’s website says. “Our vision is to provide free transportation for children and expectant mothers across the country to essential health care services using zero emission vehicles.

Photo Courtesy Green Cars for Kids 

Statistics show that children, pregnant women, and low-income communities in general experience disproportionate health effects from air pollution. A study on the National Library of Medicine website says fossil-fuel combustion by-products are the world’s most significant threat to children’s health. 

According to an article from Toms on the effects of extreme heat on pregnant women, high heat exposure during pregnancy leads to a multitude of unborn child health issues, including preterm birth, low birth weight, and heart defects. GC4K hopes to help combat all of these significant impacts of climate on health.

Today, the organization provides door-to-door rides free of charge to and from medical appointments across Broward County.

While riding in an electric vehicle (EV), mothers-to-be and children are educated about their health and their family’s health using video screens built into the back seats of the vehicles. 

Overall, the company wants to highlight the positive aspects of the EV industry while locally reducing fossil fuel air pollution by cutting down on vehicles on the road and using cars powered by sustainable fuels.

Photo Courtesy Green Cars for Kids 

The nonprofit wants to improve health outcomes for clients who need it the most. GC4K works hard to identify target populations and extend their services to new neighborhoods. By partnering with numerous local organizations, the company supports regional economic growth and a more equitable transition to transportation electrification.

According to a Southern Alliance for Clean Energy blog post, Toms modeled the program after Kid One, an Alabama nonprofit established in 1997 that provides transportation to health care services for children across 43 Alabama counties. That organization’s founder, Russell Jackson, is on GC4K’s board. The board and advisory committee members include a diverse group of people representing the communities the organization serves.

Photo Courtesy Green Cars for Kids Florida residents in the coverage area can request ride requests on the GC4K website, through the online form, or through the nonprofit’s direct phone number, which allows people without internet access to schedule rides via a regular phone call. The program is supported by the March of Dimes and partners with the ride service app Freebee for maximum impact.

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