The National Auto Body Council (NABC), along with Travelers and Gerber Collision & Glass, recently donated a refurbished vehicle to a deserving Loma Linda. Calif., resident through the NABC’s Recycled Rides program to provide her independence and the ability to continue to work.
Ashley Avila, who received a 2017 Hyundai Tucson, is a medical assistant and was nominated to receive the vehicle by Give Something Back, an organization that helps students who have faced barriers to success such as foster care, homelessness or incarceration of a parent. Give Something Back empowers students to build resilience, overcome adversity and find pathways to become self-reliant adults.
Avila experienced a great deal of instability and trauma in her childhood. As a young child, she experienced the loss of her father and was sent to live with extended family while her mother stayed in Mexico. After her freshman year of high school, she was forced to move back to Mexico with her mother and work to support the family. This devastated Avila because she was connected to student government and sports teams and was excelling in school. She finally was able to come back to the U.S. and live with her cousin while finishing school.
Avila graduated from high school with a 3.5 GPA and dreamed of working in the field of dermatology. Avila enthusiastically enrolled in a full load of classes and secured a job at a movie theater, however the transition to independent living, working full-time and trying to maintain a full load of classes proved much harder than she thought. With the help and support of Give Something Back, she entered a medical assistant program and now works 40 hours a week at a medical clinic and works a second job on the weekends so that she can save money for a car. Thanks to Recycled Rides, the gift of reliable transportation will now help Avila, who is the first to graduate in her family, to continue on her path to independence and a successful career.
“It is truly heart-warming when we can provide a vehicle to someone who is working as hard as Ashley to better her situation,” said Dale Ross, program manager for Recycled Rides. “A reliable vehicle is the last step to her independence.”
Added Avila, “Even the smallest acts of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life.”
Travelers and their employees raised additional funds to help Avila with gas and other expenses, presenting her with a check for more than $2,000.
Additional partners in the presentation include Cars for Charity; Advanced Remarketing Services; Copart; PPG; Pacifica Auto Company; Keystone; Fontana Hyundai; Mobile Airbag Service; No. 1 Vinyl and Leather Repair; and 1-800 Radiator.
For more information on Recycled Rides, click here.