A single mom of four young children received the much-needed gift of mobility this holiday season as the recipient of a refurbished 2016 Chevrolet Malibu thanks to Farmers Insurance, James Wood AutoPark, and United Way of Denton County.
Farmers Insurance donated the car through their “Rides for Hope” program.
“Farmers Insurance Exchange is committed to helping the communities we serve, and Farmers Rides for Hope is one way of accomplishing this goal,” said Randy Bastian, a local Farmers Insurance representative. “We partner with industry resources such as James Wood AutoPark and work together to donate vehicles to people in need via a nonprofit organization that Farmers supports.”
In need of a new engine and body shop work, nine James Wood AutoPark technicians and painters donated 120 hours of their time using donated materials from vendors to make the car like-new.
“The technicians and painters were ready to jump on it right away,” explained John Seidel, Body Shop Manager at James Wood AutoPark. “And our employees got involved by donating clothing, toys, and gift cards for the family. We’re so happy we can help out and make a difference in at least one family’s life.”
The car’s recipient, Jada Saulny, is mom to sons Garvin (12) and Malakai (2) and daughters Saniya (9) and Mia (4). Currently, she works part-time at Home Depot while studying to obtain her GED. Like many families in Denton County, lack of transportation makes life difficult for this young mom.
“Not having a car is hard,” she said. “Garvin wants to play sports and Saniya loves gymnastics. But I can’t get them there.”
Uber has been Jada’s primary form of transportation to work, school, doctor’s appointments, etc. for her and the kids because public transportation takes over 90 minutes. But the rides add up.
“A lot of my income goes to that,” she explained. “Having a car will help a lot. Help me save money too.”
Enrolled in the Family Residential Program at Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home, Jada participates United Way of Denton County’s Financial Coaching program.
“When we got the call from Denny Aldridge at James Wood, we immediately thought of our collaboration with Cumberland to identify a hard-working recipient for this car,” said Gary Henderson, president and CEO of United Way of Denton County. “Jada represents so many struggling families across Denton County who we call ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained, Employed), and we know transportation continues to be a huge need in our community.”
Jada works with her financial coach on budgeting, improving her credit scores, and searching for a full-time job. The car will assist in that area and more.
“I can expand my search for a job beyond the immediate area,” Jada said. “I’m excited to do more stuff with my kids. Right now, it’s hard because it’s so hard getting around. It’ll be more fun being able to get out as a family.”
Visit unitedwaydenton.org/ALICE to learn more about those struggling in Denton County. Visit unitedwaydenton.org/financialcoaching to learn how to be trained to help families in Denton County succeed.