Thursday, 18 February 2016 18:27

CARSTAR Puget Sound Collision Centers Donate 2008 Nissan Altima to Deserving Military Family

CARSTAR Puget Sound2

(L to R) Jeff Middleton, Matt Earsley, Robbie Blankenship, Shaun Copeland, Wendy Murray, Pat Murray. (Front) Sadie Earsley

The 22 CARSTAR Puget Sound collision centers got together last week to help a worthy military family with a donation of a 2008 Nissan Altima as part of the National Auto Body Council’s (NABC) Recycled Rides® program. The vehicle donation was made on Wednesday, January 27.

The car was donated by State Farm and was a former fleet vehicle for the company. As part of the process to bring the vehicle to like new condition, the CARSTAR Puget Sound Business group had one of their shops repair a small dent in the hood and replace the front bumper, which was donated by LKQ Keystone.

The vehicle’s recipient, Daniel H. DerHammer, was on active duty from January 1996 to November 1998. He served almost three years of a four-year enlistment. DerHammer was injured in August of 1998 while his unit was in NTC Yakima. He was in a HMMWV accident and suffered a broken neck and back. Dan was awarded a 40 percent service connected disability rating. Because of his injuries he has extensive arthritis and multiple conditions which limits how long he can stand and sit. He requires numerous medications to manage the stiffness and pain. But even with his pain, he still volunteers at his church.

DerHammer has applied for and been approved for vocational rehabilitation. He will begin an Associate's degree program in Accounting as of January 2016 at Pierce College. He recently had a full hip replacement as an aggravated condition of the damage to his lower back. As the sole bread winner of his family caring for his special needs child and his wife who is disabled, their family has been in financial hardship for the past year. CARSTAR Puget Sound felt that this car will give he and his family the helping hand he needs to start the New Year in a positive way.

“It’s always a special event when we are able to do a donation through Recycled Rides,” said Shaun Copeland, president of the CARSTAR Puget Sound Business Group. “All of our shops are thankful for the service and sacrifice that the men and women of our military give every day. We are more than happy to give back any time we can.”

Recycled Rides® is a nationwide community service project whereby members of NABC repair and donate recycled vehicles to families and service organizations in need in their own communities. Recycled Rides recruits collision repairers, insurers, paint suppliers, parts vendors and others, to contribute in their own, yet synergistic ways. The number of CARSTAR stores who participate in the program has grown steadily since it began and this year it expects some 20 vehicle deliveries by CARSTAR locations.

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