EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Commuting around town just got a little easier for a local woman who received a new car Thursday as part of a special program.
Ericka Kind is the single mother of a 19 month old baby boy and works third shift. She says when it comes to getting around town this winter, she's had limited options.
"Weather conditions and having to consider that and working in places that are off the bus line and having to expense Ubers, it adds up," said Kind.
But Ericka doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council has partnered with CARSTAR Eau Claire to give Ericka a set of wheels.
“I don't have words. I have a beautiful new car and it's more beautiful than I could have imagined and I’m so, so thankful," said Ericka Kind.
Ericka’s new wheels are thanks to a program called Recycled Rides. “It’s through the National Autobody Council and in our second facility in Plover, Wisconsin we've been doing this about ten years," said Tony Kempen, Owner at CARSTAR Eau Claire South.
Through this program, CARSTAR donates parts and labor to recondition vehicles for families enrolled in Western Dairyland's programs. "This is a fantastic day for us. Western Dairyland is a non-profit organization that has about 20 different programs from low income families in the area,” said Dale Karls.
The entire staff at CARSTAR Eau Claire South was involved in repairing the vehicle for Ericka. "We actually had quite a bit of work to do. The vehicle was deemed a total loss by the insurance company," said Kempen.
Ericka says she grateful. "This car is going to get me more than to point A and point B…this helps me with getting my child to his appointments and helps me with getting to work and everything in between,” she said.
Kempen says a lot of people were involved in making this possible. "It's amazing to see so many community members come together …every one of these guys has a huge heart,” he said.