PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was an incredible Christmas surprise for a Crafton family when they received a new car for free. But the ride isn’t just about getting from Point A to Point B.
It’s a Christmas that Shawntaye Sledge won’t ever forget.
“I’m still in shock; I don’t believe it,” said Sledge.
Sledge is the winner of a Chrysler minivan from Community Auto, a local car donation program that helps to provide low-income individuals and families with vehicles.
Sledge entered the “Too Big for the Stocking” car giveaway and was selected.
She says the gift means a lot. The mother of three, who works part-time, has had to rely on public transportation. She’s even had to turn down jobs because they weren’t along the bus line.
“It would be easier for me to get to work, get the kids to daycare and school, so it’s perfect,” she says.
In addition to the van itself, the trunk was packed with presents for the kids – from clothes to toys to coloring books and more.
Community Auto has held car giveaways for the past several years. Employees say it’s always exciting and something to look forward to.
“It’s wonderful because everyone participating in our program has to be working, but they are all folks who aren’t quite making enough to make it. So with the car, it gives them a chance to improve their situation and become self-sufficient,” says Community Auto’s Elizabeth Edwards.
Contestants have to be working at least 25 hours a week and be earning less than 25 percent of the Federal poverty level.
“Shawntaye really impressed us with her willingness to work and really her desire to provide a better life for her kids,” Edwards added.
Community Auto is always in need of car donations. In addition to giving away one car a year, the program offers vehicles well below market value for other families in need.