“The gift of an automobile is like finding a light switch and turning it on after stumbling around in the dark,” said Sherwood Wade-El, a single father of four children, and one of five families who have been struggling without a car.
Since 2009, members of the National Auto Body Council have donated 55 vehicles to help families in Las Vegas.
Nationally, nearly 1,000 vehicles have been donated through the Recycled Rides program in which companies representing all facets of the collision industry team up to repair and donate refurbished vehicles to deserving families and nonprofit organization.
Locally, the vehicles were donated by Allstate Insurance, GEICO, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz Corporation State Farm Insurance and refurbished by collision repair companies Proficient Auto Body, Caliber Collision, Gerber Collision & Glass, Service King and Jim Marsh Auto Body. Other companies who contributed parts and services include LKQ Corporation, Axalta Coatings, and AkzoNobel, 1-800 Charity Cars, powered by AudaExplore, a Solera Company, and many other local businesses.
“This industry-wide collaboration to provide reliable transportation for those in need exemplifies the professionalism and integrity of our collision industry,” said Chuck Sulkala, NABC Executive Director. “We are proud to partner with Family Promise of Greater Las Vegas and help make a positive difference in the lives of Las Vegas families over the past seven years.”
Four of the Recycled rides vehicles will be gifted to families nominated by Family Promise of Las Vegas and the fifth vehicle to a military veteran selected by the Leatherneck Club.
The recipients are:
- Sherwood Wade-El and his four children, one of which is wheelchair-bound, have been without a car for several years. Owning a car will enable the family to participate in more school activities and open new employment opportunities.
- Robert and Shasity Basuil rely on public transportation to juggle work, school and care for their five children, ages 1-11.
- For Chrysalyn and Ny Springer and their four children, a car would add hours to their day and give the family more time to spend together.
- A reliable car will help Nicole Williams, single mother with three children, meet her determination to be self-sufficient despite having medical challenges of her own.
- Thomas Mlechick, a Vietnam War veteran who depends on rides for frequent medical appointments, a car would also help him finish his Ph.D. and continue his ministry as a chaplain in the Marine Corps Honor Guard.
“These families have had more than their fair share of troubles in life that they are overcoming with sheer determination and grit,” said Terry Lindemann, Executive Director of Family Promise of Las Vegas. “This gift of a vehicle is the catalyst they need to continue on their journey to success.”