“This will change my life:” Chilliwack business community gifts car to single mom

Stephanie McCormick, single mom of three, was given a 2004 Toyota Camry

Sometimes a little white lie goes a long way: for Stephanie McCormick, it lead her all the way to a free car.

“Stephanie,” her step-father called. “You’ve got to come see this little dog with a Santa costume on.” With a roll of her eyes, McCormick finally agreed to get out of the truck and head into Fix Auto. But upon entering, instead of a canine Claus, McCormick was met by a group of community members who came together to grant a Christmas miracle: the gift of a new-to-her car.

Stephanie McCormick’s new car, a 2004 Toyota Camry

Parked out front, next to the vehicle McCormick arrived in, was a 2004 silver Toyota Camry. And with only 133,000 kilometres on the odometer, the four-door family car is the perfect fit for McCormick, who’s a single mother of three.

“I can’t believe this,” said McCormick with tears streaming down her cheeks. “This is so amazing!”

Lynda Currie, McCormick’s mother, nominated her in the giveaway contest. “I just think being a single mom is hard enough,” Currie said. “Even harder for a working single mom.”

“I knew she needed help, she’s had a really tough year (and) was always relying on other people for rides,” added Currie. “She walks her kids to school every day, 45 minutes each way, (then) walks more than an hour to work.”

With 40 applicants, Niels Larson from Valley Toyota said the panel who selected McCormick had their work cut out for them.

“It’s always hard to pick the winner,” Larson said. “But we make the decision based on the entries we receive.”

For more than a decade-and-a-half, Fix Auto has been teaming up with members of the business community to give away a fixed-up, pre-owned vehicle to somebody whose life would be changed by the gift. For the past five years, Valley Toyota has been providing the car. This year’s car was sold new off the lot, by Larson, in 2004, and was traded in this year when the family upgraded.

“We’re always looking for a decent car,” Larson said. “So when this car was brought back in, we decided it would be a great fit.”

Before the car was given to McCormick, it had bodywork done, its tires were upgraded, the inside was detailed, and its gas tank was filled up. Additionally, the trunk was filled with all the trimmings to prepare a full Christmas dinner, an iPod for each of McCormick’s three children, and $1,000 worth of insurance was donated by HUB International Barton Insurance Brokers.

READ MORE: Strapped single mom gifted car

“We make sure anything it needs is put on,” adds Larson. “It shouldn’t require any repairs, and should be a good vehicle for many years to come.”

Thanking everyone in the room, McCormick said she was overwhelmed and beyond grateful for the gift. “I just can’t believe it,” she said. “This is truly a Christmas miracle. This is going to change my life.”

“I can’t wait for my kids to see it,” she adds, smiling. “They’re going to be so surprised!”


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

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