On Wednesday, Oct. 31, five deserving recipients experienced a life-changing event – the presentation of a car to provide them independence and the ability to work, take care of their families and serve their communities – thanks to the National Auto Body Council (NABC).
The car presentations took place as part of the annual NABC Recycled Rides celebration at the SEMA Show, the world’s largest event for the automotive aftermarket industry.
“As the world gathers for one of the biggest automotive shows of the year, we want to showcase just how important a vehicle can be in the life of someone,” said Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of the National Auto Body Council. “Through the NABC Recycled Rides program and today’s presentation of five vehicles, we are able to impact the lives of the recipients and their abilities to work, take care of their families and serve the community.”
Roderick Garrison was presented a 2014 Nissan Sentra, donated by State Farm and refurbished by Service King Red Rock. He was selected by the Marine Corp League Nevada Chapter 186. Garrison joined the Marine Corp in 1976 to serve his county and see the world. He was on active duty from 1976 to July 1985, took a break, then returned in 1987 to active duty with a Marine Reserve command until 1992 then transferred to an active duty position with 140th Chemical Company with the California Army National Guard until 1999. After 9/11 he transferred back to regular active duty with the US Army with approximately nine plus deployments into different corners of the world. Along the way, he worked on a variety of projects to help people in local communities, through Civil Affairs and through volunteer work. That dedication to service kept him away from his children for much of their lives. When he retired in 2011, he realized that he had missed so much and began working on reconnecting with his children. At the same time, he returned to school and completed his MBA in July 2018. Today, he lives with his service animal Niko plus his side kick Coco working on the fatherly connection and supporting others in need. He recently took one 70-year-old resident on his first trip to the Grand Canyon. The gift of a vehicle will allow him to visit one of his daughters who lives and goes to school in Utah and another that now lives in Canada while still helping others.
Carrie McNeely received a 2013 Chrysler Town & Country minivan that was donate by Allstate. It was refurbished by New Look Collision. McNeely, the mother to four children and one grandchild, was selected by Family Promise of Las Vegas. She is a go getter who with her family came to Family Promise ready to do whatever she could to become self-sufficient and stable in her own home. She began work immediately! The gift of a reliable minivan will allow her to support her large family while maintaining her employment and housing.
Kara Craig unveiled a 2015 Ford Fusion that was donated by GEICO. Caliber Collision-N. Las Vegas provided the repairs. Selected by Family Promise of Las Vegas, Craig is the mother of three beautiful daughters ages 7, 6, and 2. Craig has worked hard to become self-sufficient as a single mother. She obtained employment but lacks reliable transportation that can carry her and her daughters to the grocery store, school or child care, to the park, and most of all to work. She finds it is a constant struggle to juggle children and groceries on the city bus, or even get a ride to the store. Having her own reliable car will give Craig and her children the dignity and ability to do things as a family.
Kelly Sweraingen was gifted a 2016 Toyota Corolla S. It was donated by Hertz and refurbished by Gerber Collision – Decatur. The mother to three daughters had been the primary care giver for her mother, and when her mother passed, and she and her daughters had to move from the house. She had read about Family Promise of Las Vegas on the internet and said, “I know if we can get into this program everything will be alright”. Sweraingen hadn’t worked outside of the house for years, and wanted a job, good school for her daughters and apartment that they could call their own. She worked diligently with the Family Promise parent advocate coordinator for families to fulfill her personal responsibility plan weekly. When one of the Family Promise volunteers asked the charity if they had anyone who could work in their graphics department on a temp basis, Sweraingen was recommend and hired. She has been on her job for almost a year. She and her girls are so looking forward to this automobile that will give her more mobility then she has ever had in the past.
Family Promise of Las Vegas
There are times when the recipient is not an individual but an organization that needs a reliable vehicle to assist in fulfilling their mission of changing and saving lives. The final vehicle presentation was a surprise for Executive Director Terry Lindemann of Family Promise of Las Vegas who never thought the mentioning of how run-down their current van was would result in receiving a replacement. She gratefully accepted the keys to 2017 Ford Transit 350 donated by Enterprise & repaired by Gerber Collision – Decatur.
The NABC Recycled Rides program presentation at the 2018 SEMA Show was made possible by partners including:
- Allstate, Enterprise, GEICO Insurance Company, Hertz and State Farm, which donated the vehicles
- Service King Red Rock, New Look Collision, Gerber Collision -Decatur and Caliber Collision-N. Las Vegas, which handled the collision repairs
- Additional contributors included 1-800- Charity Cars, AkzoNobel, Axalta, AutoNation ACP, AutoNation Nissan, B&R Auto Wrecking, Finishmaster, LKQ, Ted Wiens Tire and Auto and Towbin Dodge Ram
“Many of us take transportation for granted, but it’s a big deal when you don’t have it,” said State Farm Agent Juan Diaz. “Providing a Marine with a car is our way of saying thank you for the sacrifices you make for us.”
“This is unbelieveable,” said recipient Kara Craig. “I never thought I would be able to have a vehicle that would fit all of my kids! This is life-changing for me and my family.”
“I am overwhelmed to receive this car,” said recipient Roderick Garrison, “It will not only help me tremendously, it will help me to continue helping others. Plus, my dogs Niko and Coco will love it!”