On Wednesday, Aug. 14, four deserving New Jersey-area veterans experienced a life-changing event – the presentation of vehicles that will provide them with independence and the ability to work and take care of their families – thanks to the NABC Recycled Rides program along with GEICO, which donated all four vehicles, and collision repair partners ABRA & Caliber Collision in Pennington, Son’s Collision Centers and Auto Pro Collision.
The presentation was held at the NABC Garden State Pars for Cars Golf Fundraiser at the Mountain View Golf Club in Ewing Township, New Jersey.
“What an honor to give back to these veterans who have given so much and served our country,” said Darren Huggins, chairman of the board the National Auto Body Council. “All these men and women deserve our respect and support. It’s incredible to work with the members of the collision repair industry and see their generosity in donating vehicles and contributing their time and talents to help ensure these veterans have safe, reliable transportation to get to work, seek medical treatment and take care of their families.”
NABC, its insurance partners and collision repair partners presented four vehicles to deserving individuals, including:
Nijah Crawford, a Wayne Country, New Jersey, native who followed her parents into the military at 17, received a 2018 Toyota Camry donated by GEICO and refurbished by ABRA & Caliber in Pennington. Crawford was nominated by the Joint Base MDL. She is still in the Air Force but is on Individual Ready Reserve as she is expecting her first child and preparing for a civilian career in nursing.
Shafali Masih, (shown top right) who was presented a 2018 Nissan Rogue donated by GEICO and refurbished by Son’s Collision Centers, is a Queens native who served in the Marines. She was deployed to the Middle East in 2003 and served as an interpreter. After some personal setbacks facing domestic violence, Masih is ready to get back to work and actively care for her seven-year-old twins. Masih was selected by the New Jersey Veterans Network.
Frank Gadson, (shown bottom right) a Queens native who played football at Syracuse, joined the Army after an injury ended his football career. He received a 2016 Mazda CX-5 that was donated by GEICO and refurbished by Son’s Collision Centers. Gadson also was nominated by the New Jersey Veterans Network after his 22 years of service as a combat medic and three deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He’s a volunteer EMT who helps other veterans in his community.
Josh Kimmel, a Navy veteran who always wanted to be in the service, was presented a 2017 Honda Civic that was donated by GEICO and refurbished by Auto Pro Collision. He also was nominated by the New Jersey Veterans Network. After his service, he found himself homeless for several years. But he has now found stable housing, has gotten married and has a supportive family. The new vehicle will help him take care of his family and find employment.
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 NABC Recycled Rides program in 2007, members of the National Auto Body Council have donated 2,180 vehicles valued at more than $36 million.