CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Checkers partnered with several programs to surprise Army Veteran, Shashanta Andrews, with a newly restored Nissan Pathfinder during the first intermission of Saturday’s game.
Geico, Caliber Collision, and Veterans Bridge Home (VBH) came together to help gift this deserving veteran the car.
Officials say Andrews recently moved to Charlotte in hopes of finding better opportunities through her job as a home healthcare aide, but as Andrews drove into Charlotte her car blew a gasket.
With the help of the donated car, Andrews was able to get into a shelter with her children, continue her beloved job, and provide a living for her family, according to a news release.
“In our industry we sort of have a front-row seat to what it’s like for somebody when they’re out of commission for their vehicle, it can be very tough,” said Kyle Maciejewski, Regional Vice President of Caliber Collision.
After hearing her story, Veterans Bridge Home nominated Andrews to get a new car through Recycled Rides, a program from the National Auto Body Council.
Caliber Collision and Geico then came together to provide a car and restore it for Andrews.
“Without a car she had to quit her job – she was a home healthcare aide, so she needed a car to get from house to house where she was doing her work,” stated Steven Cole, VP of Advancement for Veterans Bridge Home. “She’s also got two children and the youngest has cerebral palsy, so just getting him around is difficult, especially if you don’t have a vehicle.
“It’s a Nissan Pathfinder donated by GEICO,” said Maciejewski. “GEICO is a tremendous player in this Recycled Rides program, they’re regularly involved with giving back. It’s great to have a partnership like that. The vehicle is going to be borderline new when the recipient gets it. For this one specifically it had a little bit of damage on the front and rear, so we had teammates donate their time to repair, refinish and reassemble.”
After the arena sat empty for close to year, the Checkers say they are excited to help continue this program,
“It goes to show you what a community can do when it works together,” said Cole. “Everyone is doing their part to help a veteran. This program is really life-changing for the veterans who receive these vehicles.”