CARSTAR Metcalf Presents Veteran Gift of Transportation
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CARSTAR Metcalf Presents Veteran Gift of Transportation

CARSTAR Metcalf presented a veteran from Kansas City, Mo., an early Christmas gift when Santa handed him the keys to a 2015 Chrysler 200 at a ceremony on Dec. 12.

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CARSTAR Metcalf presented a veteran from Kansas City, Mo., an early Christmas gift when Santa handed him the keys to a 2015 Chrysler 200 at a ceremony on Dec. 12. The car was part of the National Auto Body Council’s (NABC) Recycled Rides program, where body shops repair and donate vehicles to agencies and families in need.

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Lawrence Smith was chosen by Veterans Community Project (VCP) in Kansas City. Smith lives in “VCP Village,” which is a community of tiny homes built by the VCP as transitional living for homeless veterans.

Smith, an Army veteran, did not have access to a vehicle prior to the gifting. He works near Kauffman Stadium and he has taken the bus to his job for the past seven months, which is three hours roundtrip. He needed his own transportation, not only to reduce his commute but also to allow him to begin school. He plans to start classes in January 2020, which will allow him to pursue his dream of a career in information technology.

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“This car couldn’t go to a more deserving or harder working guy,” said Wes Williams, case manager at VCP. “Watching his growth while at VCP over the last year has been inspiring. He set a goal, he has worked very hard towards it, and now he will have the ability to go back to school thanks to this car.”

The Chrysler 200 was donated by Farmers Insurance. The vehicle had been damaged due to a collision but had less than 63,000 miles. Technicians at CARSTAR Metcalf volunteered their skills to repair and refurbish the car.

“When Farmers offered this car, I thought it was perfect for the NABC Recycled Rides program,” said Steve Hahn, owner of CARSTAR Metcalf. “This is a great way to give back to veterans in our community and show them appreciation.”

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Added Farmers Insurance MSO Account Manager Wendy Hesse, “Farmers Insurance was founded by two World War I veterans, and we are proud of our longstanding commitment to our nation’s veterans and military members. The Farmers team is honored to be able to give the gift of dependable transportation to a veteran who has sacrificed for our country.”

Farmers employees from the Olathe, Kansas, office also donated some “extras” to the veteran during the holiday season, including a winter coat, winter accessories and gas station gift cards.

Santa Claus was played by Chris Lauderdale, field claims supervisor for Farmers Insurance.VFW Post 7396 in Lenexa provided the Honor Guard.

Many other businesses and organizations donated to make this car gifting possible including: Allied/Blue Valley Towing; Burnett Automotive; Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Extreme Detail; Midway Auto Parts; New Century Dodge; Olathe Dodge; State Line Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge; The Glass Company; VFW Post 7396; Charity Cars; and the NABC.

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This is the second year CARSTAR Metcalf has partnered with VCP to donate a car to a veteran to help them improve their lives.

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