For three consecutive years, Central Valley Collision Center, with the help of community partners, has donated a vehicle and a year of services to a family in need.

“We come across vehicles that have been written off by the owner or insurance company, despite the minor work needed to make them operational,” said Lisa Colburn, owner of Central Valley Collision Repair. “Rather than going to waste, we put the work into these vehicles and give them to families who truly need them.”

Applicants must have a valid driver’s license along with a clean driving record and a job, plus they must submit their narrative on why they need a vehicle. This year’s recipient was urged by a church friend to submit her story.

“I never thought they would pick me,” Therese Hutchinson said. The mother of two teenage girls, Therese lost her husband in a motorcycle accident seven years ago and works at least two jobs to provide for her family and put her daughters through college. “I do every odd job I can.”

“I told my girls to say a prayer for me before I left,” Therese said with a laugh. “I had no idea they had already chosen someone.”

Arriving at Central Valley Collision Center, she was surprised by a crowd made up of friends and family waiting to congratulate her on her new ride filled with groceries and gifts.

Lisa Colburn is reminded every year of the need within the community as applications are reviewed.

“With the help of several local charitable organizations, churches, businesses and private individuals, we are able to not only provide the vehicle but fill it with all sorts of Christmas cheer,” she said.

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