Tis’ The Season For Transportation

Just in time for the holidays, two local organizations are helping families in need by giving them the gift of transportation.

Naperville resident, Nikita Hawkins is one of the eight people receiving a vehicle donated by Continental Motors through the Naperville CARES Car Program.

Up until now, Hawkins relied on carpooling, cabs, and relatives to get her to her full-time job at Cook County’s Oak Forest Hospital, and when her four-year old daughter’s asthma would strike with an attack, the single mother was dependent on others to make it to the hospital before it’s too late. “She is hospitalized a lot for a couple days at a time because it’s been too cold, and that’s when her asthma starts to flare up,” said the grateful mom.

“This helps them on their path to support their family and get them back on a better path,” said Naperville CARES Executive Director, Janet Derrick.

This is the second year for the Continental Motors Group to donate pre-owned vehicles to families who currently struggle with getting to work.

Joel Weinberger is the Dealer Principal of Continental Motors, and is happy to make an impact in the community. “Having your own transportation can really make a difference in somebody’s life. It opens up a whole world of opportunity for people that maybe otherwise couldn’t have it,” he said.

All of the Continental dealerships in DuPage and Cook counties each donated one car, and Naperville CARES worked with Pillars Health Services to find the perfect candidates.

“Our goal for the program is to keep people employed. Transportation, especially for the working poor, is very difficult out here. So that is one of the main criteria for the program,” said Derrick.

Hawkins says she is relieved to have her own vehicle, and looks forward to spoiling her daughter this Christmas. “I don’t have to save, and I can just put money towards household stuff and my daughter. I am so happy, I just cannot stop smiling,” she said.

After the dealers showed the now car-owners the ins and outs of their new rides the drivers drove their cars off the lot to their new homes.

Since 1999, Naperville CARES has supplied over 500 donated vehicles to local families in need.

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