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On Oct. 8, a deserving U.S. Marine Corps veteran experienced a life-changing event – the presentation of a vehicle to provide him reliable transportation to carry out his important mission of serving veterans and frontline workers in need. The vehicle presentation was made possible thanks to High-Velocity Autobody and car donor Hertz, along with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) Recycled Rides program.
Andrei Popow, a veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was presented the vehicle, a 2019 Toyota Corolla, at High-Velocity Autobody in Inwood, N.Y.
“So much is happening in our world today and so much uncertainty,” said Kristle Bollans, director, Replacement Accounts for the Hertz Corporation. “Like so many people across the world, Andrei’s life was affected by COVID19. I, along with Hertz, are so grateful to be able to provide safe and reliable transportation to Andrei as he serves so many in need. He truly is an inspiration.”
Popow, a New York native, was working as a graphic artist prior to 9/11, then enlisted to serve his country after the tragedy. He had tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and received numerous medals and commendations for his service. Upon returning home, he found many of his fellow soldiers suffering from pain and depression, and struggling with substance abuse and suicide. He used his GI Bill to enroll at NYU and study nonprofit organizational development, then founded Veterans Rebuilding Life to help veterans in need.
After losing his job to COVID-19 layoffs, Popow continued his work delivering PPE to essential workers, even though he didn’t have a vehicle and had to pay for a rental car. The gift of reliable transportation will allow him to expand his service to those in need and continue helping veterans rebuild their lives.
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 program in 2007, NABC members have donated more than 2,500 vehicles valued at more than $36 million.
Additional partners in the presentation include Smithtown Toyota, Kemperle, R&J’s Auto Glass, Dent Shield and 1.800 Charity Cars.