A local family is starting off the New Year with new automobile courtesy of a local car dealership.
Saitta Trudeau Chrysler Jeep Dodge provided the family with a new Dodge Dart last month as part of the dealership’s second annual Get Back on Your Feet program.
The family can use the car for one year to help them get back on their feet, which is what winner Barbara Griffin said will happen after taking possession of the vehicle on New Year’s Eve.
Griffin is the mother of two children. She noted that the family’s original car is on its last legs.
“In June we spent $300 to put in a fuel pump into the van we have,” she said. “It turned out we had to spend another $300 because it was a bad fuel pump. This was a real blessing because now I don’t have to stress when I take my son into Las Vegas for his medical appointments.”
The process for the Get Back on Your Feet program is simple.
A friend or family member writes to one of three valley businesses detailing why they feel a particular family or individual would benefit from the use of the new car.
A selection committee comprised of two local media outlets and the dealership then reviews the letters to reach a consensus of the most deserving entry.
Local resident Shanda Roderick took pen to paper unbeknownst to Griffin.
The women met roughly six years ago when their children were involved in various community organizations.
“She’s just a beautiful and kindhearted person,” Roderick said. “Life has dealt her some ups and downs and I’m just glad that she is getting back up again.”
Griffin’s 8-year-old son is autistic, which requires the family to make the trip to Las Vegas for medical treatments at least once a month.
After hearing about the contest, Roderick said Griffin was her first choice, but it took several days before she actually wrote the letter and mailed to the selection committee.
“I actually forgot about it for a few days,” she said. “It just kept coming up and coming up until I finally just gave it a shot and wrote the letter. I figured, if it happens, it happens. And it did. She’s a good person.”
Saitta Trudeau co-owner Don Trudeau said the dealership wanted to find a good way to give back to the community, which has supported the business for many years.
“There’s a lot of people in need out there right now,” Trudeau said. “Many are just one paycheck away from losing their home or car. One small hiccup in their life can really put them in a bad situation. Obviously we can’t help them all but we wanted to look at a way that could at least help someone and transportation is a big thing in people’s lives.”