Christmas arrived early, and winter ready, for a Shuswap mother and daughter thanks to several Salmon Arm businesses.
“I felt like I was going to pass out,” commented an excited Billie Jean on Friday morning, Dec. 20, after learning she would be the 2019 recipient of 2nd annual Shuswap Christmas Car Giveaway.
The vehicle, a 2009 Dodge Caravan, came complete with a full set of new winter tires and a cargo area loaded with gifts.
For Jean, the day started with the promise of getting some Christmas shopping done with her mother. While on their way, her mother pulled into Kal Tire claiming she was having car troubles. It was here the surprise was revealed.
“Honestly, I kind of blanked out after they started talking because I was like, ‘is this real life?’,” Jean said. “This will help me out so much, my vehicle was like a $500 beater car. We’ve had a rough few years.”
Braby Motors provided the van, Fix Auto took care of the body work, while Kal Tire looked after the mechanical work and provided the winter tires. On top of that, Jean received $1,500 worth of insurance paid for by SASCU.
“It was a team effort and we all put in the same amount of time, energy and contribution,” said Braby Motors manager Justin Braby.
Jean said the new vehicle will be especially beneficial for her daughter Frankie who uses a wheelchair.
“Just being able to throw her wheelchair in the back without having to take it apart every time, and her walker and her arm canes,” she said. “I have to pick and choose what piece of equipment I bring.”
The new vehicle allows Jean to bring all Frankie’s equipment to Vancouver where Frankie will be attending Sunny Hill Health Centre in Vancouver for two weeks.
Jean was selected to received the van after the participating businesses put out a call for nominations, seeking a deserving family whose transportation needs would be better met with the minivan.