Tuesday, 27 November 2018 23:29

Gerber Collision in Mayfield Heights, OH, Helps Mother in Need Get Free Car

Written by Adam Dodd, The News-Herald
Annette Smith in the moment of receiving her car keys at Gerber Collision & Glass, located on Mayfield Road in Mayfield Heights, OH. Annette Smith in the moment of receiving her car keys at Gerber Collision & Glass, located on Mayfield Road in Mayfield Heights, OH. Adam Dodd, The News-Herald


The season of giving started early for Gerber Collision & Glass.


Located in Mayfield Heights, OH, the auto body repair shop recently partnered with Allstate Insurance, the National Auto Body Council and nonprofit Family Promise to provide the gift of transportation to a local recipient in need.


Annette Smith is a registered practical nurse and single mother to a 1-year-old boy. She has been dedicated to improving her and her child’s lives.


“As recently as April, I was in a homeless shelter," she recalled. "The opportunity came to receive a free car as long as I kept a valid license and insurance and [kept] my job---all of which I do anyway for my son.”


Originally created by the NABC, the Recycled Rides program sees lightly used cars refurbished and then given to a resident in need.


Family Promise’s Ken Komperda ultimately determined the deserving recipient.


“We were looking for someone [who has] worked hard, perseveres and is willing to take care of business," he said. "Annette’s proven to be a great selection. She’s going to do really well from here on. We’re all really excited for her.”


The general manager for the Mayfield Heights branch of Gerber Collision, Jay Pope, worked as point man by facilitating many of the behind-the-scenes logistics.


It was his team at Gerber Collision that hosted the event and made sure Smith’s ride was as good as factory fresh. That included fixing the bumper and hood, replacing the windshield and interior upholstery, providing a cleaning and buffing, and an entire battery of safety tests.


“This is awesome,” he said in an interview. “When we can give back to the community something that we do for a living, it’s just priceless.”


AutoZone also got involved by donating a car care package that included all sorts of products and accessories for Smith. They also included a gas card, which will keep transportation affordable as Smith commutes to her job at The Greens Care and Rehabilitation nursing home.


With Allstate’s donated 2016 Toyota XLE Camry looking and running better than ever, there was only one thing left to do---hand the keys off to the lucky driver on Nov. 8.

“I didn’t believe it at first,” Smith said.


When asked what her first big plan for the car was, Smith laughed and said, “Just being able to get to work is a big plan for me.”


The mayor of Mayfield Heights, Anthony DiCicco, was also on hand for the event.


“It’s great that there are businesses in our community that care about people who are less fortunate," he said. "To have the caliber of those people here in this city is amazing.”


We thank The News-Herald for reprint permission.

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