The Car Presentation Took Place at the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) Convention on April 26 in Nashville
MEDIA NOTE: Photos and video from the NABC Recycled Rides® Presentation are available here
NASHVILLE, TN (April 27, 2023) – Today, two deserving Nashville area residents, both of whom are U.S. Army veterans, experienced a life-changing event – the donation of a vehicle to provide them independence and the ability to work and take care of their families – thanks to the National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides® program along with car donors GEICO and Nationwide and repair partners Crash Champions and Nexterra Solutions. The presentation was held at the ABPA Convention and both recipients were nominated by Operation Stand Down.
“Every year at our annual convention, we make an effort to give back to families in that community,” said Ed Salamy, director of the Auto Body Parts Association. “It’s an honor to present these two deserving veterans and their families with the gift of reliable transportation. Thank you to all of the partners who made this possible.”
The recipients included:
- Nicole Leyva, who received 2016 Kia Optima, donated by GEICO and refurbished by Crash Champions, served two years in the U.S. Army. She is a single mother of two children and works now as a nail artist. Nicole’s car was constantly on the verge of breaking down. The leaks in the oil and power steering are so big that the car smokes excessively and she must constantly buy oil power steering fluid. If her car was to completely die, she would have no way to transport her kids to school and doctor’s appointment and to get herself to work and the grocery store.
- BeCandice Brantley is a U.S. Army veteran who served from 2005 to 2011. She joined the Operation Stand Down team a year ago and has been having major mechanical issues with her previous vehicle. She received a 2020 Chevrolet Equinox, donated by Nationwide and refurbished by Nexterra Solutions. Previously, co-workers had gone out of their way to pick up BeCandice and bring her to work after her vehicle had broken down. A newer vehicle will be a gamechanger in alleviating stress for her, worrying about how she is going to make it to work, the grocery store and back home safely to feed her children.
“I am so appreciative and there is enough space in the car for me and my girls. This is a blessing for us,” said BeCandice Brantley.
Desmond Smith, owner of 3DE Towing and an Air Force veteran, donated the towing for one of the vehicles and personally drove it from Knoxville to Nashville to be repaired for a fellow veteran.
“As a veteran, I always want to help other veterans in need, and this was a perfect way to give back,” said Smith. “I’m honored that I could play a part in providing these two deserving veterans reliable transportation and helping them on their path to independence.”
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 more than 3,000 vehicles valued at some $42 million.
Additional partners in the NABC Recycled Rides® presentation include 1-800 Charity Cars, 3DE Towing, Cars for Charity, Advanced Remarketing Systems, Elitek Mechanical Inspection, PDR link, Wheel Repair of Tennessee. and Copart.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL AUTO BODY COUNCIL®
The National Auto Body Council® is the premier organization of collision industry partners dedicated to strategic networking opportunities that positively change lives in the communities we serve. The collaborative membership of the National Auto Body Council® has gifted more than 3,000 vehicles, provided extrication opportunities for over 5,000 First Responders and is helping educate students and adult drivers in communities around the country through NABC Recycled Rides®, NABC First Responder Emergency Extrication (F.R.E.E.™) and the NABC® Drive Out Distraction program. That effort equates to a 4:1 ROI in dollar value delivered from NABC® membership dollars. The National Auto Body Council® is changing the paradigm of how the collision industry works and is viewed. For more information, visit www.NationalautoBodyCouncil.org.