Single-mom families get new wheels from ‘Recycled Rides’ program
EAST BRUNSWICK — This is the fifth year that New Jersey-based Branning Collision Centers is participating in a nationwide program called "Recycled Rides," which identifies families that have fallen on hard times and are in need of better transportation, then secures the necessary resources to provide them with refurbished cars free of charge.
This year, as in 2017, Branning will present vehicles to two Garden State families. The vehicles, donated by Geico, are a 2016 Hyundai Sonata and a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander. Branning takes care of the repairs.
"Participating in the Recycled Rides program, it gives our team an opportunity to come together and help our community," COO Kim Branning said, adding the program is run across the country by the National Auto Body Council. "There have been thousands of vehicles given away throughout the years through this organization."
The recipient families this year are both single-mom households with three children each, and have been victimized by domestic violence. They were selected by 180 Turning Lives Around, a Monmouth County nonprofit. It's Branning's third year working in tandem with 180, which provides immediate and long-term support for trauma suffered by domestic violence victims.
Often, Kim Branning said, the cars are not the only gifts. Donations come in from insurance and car rental companies, parts dealers, and local businesses to provide these families with even more materials to make their lives easier.
Branning Collision Centers will present the 2018 honorees with their vehicles on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. in East Brunswick, at one of the shop's seven New Jersey locations.
Patrick Lavery is Senior Producer of Morning News and Special Programming for New Jersey 101.5, and is lead reporter and substitute anchor for "New Jersey's First News." Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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