On Friday, March 13, the luck of two deserving Tampa Bay area residents changed for the better. That’s because both experienced a life-transforming event – the presentation of vehicles to provide them the independence to work and take care of their families – thanks to the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides program, along with car donors Allstate and vehicle repairer CARSTAR Autobody Resurrection.
The vehicle presentation marked a major milestone for the National Auto Body Council – the 2,500th NABC Recycled Ride presented to a deserving recipient since the program began 13 years ago. To date, the program has mobilized thousands of recipients and their families, helping them reclaim their independence, confidence and self-reliance. The value of the 2,500 donated vehicles is approximately $36 million.
The 2,500th NABC Recycled Rides presentation was held at CARSTAR Autobody Resurrection in Lakeland, Florida.
“It is truly amazing to have experienced hundreds of presentations of NABC Recycled Rides over the years, and to culminate with this gifting of the 2,500th vehicle today in Lakeland, Florida,” said Bill Garoutte, president and CEO of the National Auto Body Council. “We are honored to recognize these two deserving recipients today as part of our 2,500th presentation celebration and are proud to have played a part in helping thousands of other families achieve independence through reliable transportation over the years.”
“As a company dedicated to being ‘a force for good’ in the communities we proudly serve, Allstate is honored to donate the vehicles that will not only transport, but ultimately, transform the lives of these deserving individuals,” said Mary Haban, senior communications consultant for Allstate. “We are honored to partner with NABC Recycled Rides for this momentous milestone and look forward to changing even more lives with additional vehicle donations in the years to come.”
The deserving recipient of the 2,500th vehicle – Temisha Stockton, a single mother with two young children – was nominated by Manatee Hope. The Bradenton, Florida, native, is caring for both children’s speech and physical therapy needs, and working her way to independence. The family just moved into their apartment several weeks ago and are very excited to have their own place. This will be the very first car for Stockton.
“This means everything to me,” said Stockton. “This will make a tremendous difference in getting my kids to their therapy and doctors’ appointments, running errands and managing our lives. Now, I can get them to daycare, and that means I can go back to work. I used to work in a nursing home and really enjoyed that. I’m hoping to return to work in that area so I can continue to provide for my kids.”
The second recipient – Ernest Cribbs, a U.S. Army veteran – was nominated by St. Vincent de Paul Society. Cribbs has faced several health and employment battles, but working with the SSVF Program, is on a positive path. Cribbs was living in the Lighthouse Ministries Shelter Program until the SSVF Program was able to obtain permanent housing. He works for the Lakeland Ledger, and has continued working but was diagnosed with a treatable cancer last fall and faced challenges with his health care coverage. When he was nominated for the NABC Recycled Rides program, SSVF Delivering Dreams Fund helped him cover his registration fees. Now, he can safely travel to work and medical appointments.
“I am surprised, shocked and most of all, blessed,” said Cribbs. “I have to put God first in all of this. Then John Querk from St. Vincent de Paul Society. Without him, none of this would have happened. He has really helped me, and he submitted my name and told me not to worry. Now, I don’t have to take the bus or ride my bike to work. I can drive to work, stay late and work on weekends. And, I can go visit my sick mother-in-law and get to church more often.”
“We have been involved in the NABC Recycled Rides program for a number of years, and it’s a tremendous honor to host the 2,500thNABC Recycled Rides gifting,” said Fred Haberl, owner of CARSTAR Autobody Resurrection. “We are excited to partner with Allstate to refurbish these two vehicles and help provide this deserving family and deserving veteran reliable transportation so they can continue to improve their lives and independence. We also thank all of the partners who helped make this event possible.”
Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides® presentation included 1-800 Charity Cars, Keystone, LKQ, Infiniti of Tampa, All Pro Auto Parts, J&B Auto Upholstery, Ben’s Paint Supply, CFAA, OE Parts Direct, PPG, ARC Towing Service and Enterprise.