News: Consolidator Report
Bates Collision Centers announced it has donated a refurbished vehicle to a needy young father whose daughter is enrolled in the Harris County Department of Education Head Start program. After 22 years of gifting rehabbed cars to needy moms as part of the annual Bates Responsible Parenting Awards, this is the first time Bates has presents keys to a dad.
The gifting occurred at Bates Collison Center in Baytown, Texas, on Dec. 17. Vehicle recipient John Rose and daughter Journee joined owners Lee and Leila Bates, their staff and community to unwrap the mystery vehicle filled with gifts and equipped with insurance for six months.
The 32-year-old Rose works as a truck driver for Amazon. He says he has turned his life around after getting into trouble in his younger years. His 4-year-old daughter, Journee, attends the HCDE Head Start at Fifth Ward. Her dad also volunteers at the center through a leadership group called the Policy Council.
“This car is going to change my life because I won’t have to take the bus anymore,” said Rose. “I will be able to take my daughter to school every morning. It’s important to be in my child’s education.
“Most kids just want to play in school, but Journee wants to go to school to learn.”
In addition to the vehicle, Journee will be presented with her own ride – a bike with training wheels.
Lee Bates, co-owner of Bates Collision, was immediately impressed by Rose’s application, which was submitted by the center manager. Rose wrote an essay about his life as part of the application process.
“He owned his mistakes in his life and wants to be a good father for his daughter,” Lee said.
The annual Bates Responsible Parenting Awards provides “helping out with a hand up” as the Bates and their staff spend months rehabbing a collision vehicle and gifts it to a deserving parent. Bates makes the annual giveaway a priority because they recognize the sacrifices parents often make in order to provide for their children.
Leila Bates, co-owner of Bates Collision, said both she and her husband, Lee, are proud of their employees who continue to supply time and resources to families they have yet to meet.
“Putting cars back on the road is part of our daily grind, but this is putting families back on the road,” she said. “We have a giving staff, and this project brings our entire team together.”
Leila sees the difference the project makes, from the Bates employees to the families receiving the cars.
“Seeing our team’s faces light up is a gift for us,” she said. “The gift of transportation is a game changer.”
Venetia Peacock, senior director of Head Start, said she was excited to kick off the holiday season with this event.
“The generosity of the Bates family and their staff fills our hearts with joy each year,” said Peacock. “This program embodies our goal at HCDE Head Start to build school readiness and success with our families.”