Waukesha woman receives vehicle through "Recycled Rides" program

WAUKESHA -- One woman's Christmas present won't fit under the tree. Maria Jose of Waukesha was chosen to receive a vehicle through the "Recycled Rides" program.

The vehicle was donated by American Family Insurance and refurbished by Goff's Auto Body.

Through the "Recycled Rides" program, American Family partners with local auto body shops to donate vehicles that have been declared a total loss. This nationwide, non-profit project, organized by the National Auto Body Council, repairs and donates vehicles to families in need, chosen by local community organizations.

When a car is declared a total loss, American Family pays the customer for the actual cash value of the vehicle before the loss. American Family usually takes possession of the vehicle and can sell it through a salvage vendor. With this program, rather than take the salvage proceeds, American Family donates the vehicles and a local auto body shop donates its services to repair them. Other vendors also offer parts and services. Some even provide extras such as gas cards and certificates for oil changes and other services. The vehicles are repaired to industry standards and meet state safety requirements.

Recipients of vehicles through this program must meet a number of criteria, including financial need, a valid driver’s license, proof of income/employment, a safe driving record, no current working vehicle, and being able to insure and maintain the vehicle.

Maria was chosen to receive the vehicle by La Casa de Esperanza, a community-based organization committed to providing opportunities for individuals to reach their full social and economic participation in society, with an emphasis on the Hispanic population.

Maria and her husband moved to Waukesha from McAllen, Texas in May 2011 after their daughter was born. They had family members in the area and felt opportunities for employment were better here. Maria came to La Casa de Esperanza as a client looking for work, and was hired as their receptionist. She is now taking courses to be qualified to teach early childhood education.

Maria’s husband is disabled and unable to work so she is the family’s sole breadwinner. She has had to rely on public transportation to get to and from work and school, as well as take her daughter to daycare and medical appointments. She knows reliable transportation will be an incredible help for her family and is extremely grateful and excited to be the recipient of this donation.

CLICK HERE for additional information on the "Recycled Rides" program.