The National Auto Body Council (NABC) announced that it donated Recycled Rides to two Orlando, Fla., residents in need of reliable transportation on Friday, April 12.
The presentation was held as part of the United Recyclers Group Conference at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando.
“NABC Recycled Rides is the ultimate life-changing gift of many possibilities,” said Patti Haverda, committee chair of the URG Scholarship Foundation Review Committee. “It allows the recipients’ hope and independence with the ownership of their own vehicle.
“This year’s award winners are both veterans living at The Transition House in Orlando, Fla. They both had been homeless addicts down on their luck until they received the treatment, support and counseling to get them back to a productive lifestyle. With the ownership of their new rides, both have a better chance of managing their second chance at life, very similar to their recycled cars.”
Joseph O’Brien, a Gulf War veteran, was presented a 2017 Nissan Altima that was donated by GEICO and repaired by Gerber Collision of Sanford, Fla. The charity, the Transition House, selected O’Brien as a thank-you for his efforts to help other residents at Transition House and be a positive role model. The vehicle will help him pursue employment and continue to improve his life.
“I am honored to have been selected by The Transition House for this great program,” said O’Brien. “If it were not for them and this vehicle, I may have given up all hope. Thank you to everyone for this help up.”
Lenward Elliot, a Marine Corps veteran, received a 2014 Ford Focus donated by State Farm and repaired by CARSTAR Autobody Resurrection of Lakeland, Fla. The Transition House honored Elliot for the positive steps he has taken to overcome homelessness and addiction. He plans to use his new vehicle to return to college and continue working his two jobs.
“It is unbelievable that I am here today and have been selected to receive a vehicle to help me on my path to a more normal life,” said Elliott.
Additional partners on the NABC Recycled Rides program include LKQ, Keystone, ARC Towing, Auto Glass of Mid Florida, Ben’s Paint & Supply, J&B Auto Upholstery, Lakeland Auto Supply and 1-800-Charity Cars.
NABC Recycled Rides is a unique program in which businesses representing all facets of the collision repair industry team up to repair and donate vehicles to individuals and families in need of reliable transportation. Since the inception of the Recycled Rides program in 2007, NABC members have donated more than 2,000 vehicles valued at more than $36 million.