Christmas came early this week for one family in need.
Superior Collision Repairs in Sidney recently gave the Beaumont family a refurbished GM sedan and gifts from the community.
Amidst people gathered at Superior Collision, the family waited anxiously as their new car with a big, red bow was driven to them.
Nicole Beaumont was there with her youngest daughter, Jamie Cocu and her nephew Connor ‘CJ’ Reym-Craig, who she has raised for five years.
With her hand covering her mouth and tears of happiness on her cheeks, Nicole ran to her new car, almost speechless.
“I’m going to be safe with my kids in my car. I’m going to be fine. My kids will be fine,” said the happy mom.
From Brentwood Bay, Beaumont commutes every day to Sidney and said it’s the best Christmas present ever — all thanks to the community.
This is the fourth year a family is helped in this way by Superior Collision. They do it in collaboration with the Sidney Lions Food bank.
The effort is growing each year with more people coming forward to participate. This year, more than 40 members of the business community came out to show their support.
Every year, a vehicle in need of repair is set aside for a family in need of reliable transportation. Cars that had once been going to waste is what prompted Akzo Nobel Acoat, the world’s largest manufacturer of paint and coatings, to create the Acoat selected National Benevolence Program.
It’s all about giving refurbished cars to those in need and co-owner of Superior Collision Allison Peters says it’s more than that.
“We have everything donated, the parts, the paint,” said Peters, who owns the local company with husband Rob. “Our guys donate their time to do the repairs. We have all our business partners donate any parts that are needed and then the paint company donates the paint … to get it back on the road.”
This year, Peters said they had two families wanting to donate to the family. Others even wanted to give cars.
“The reason we do that is because what we found or what I found, was the first year we did this we gave this woman such a hand up that she was able to share it,” Peters said. “And so it’s a little bit of a ‘pay it forward’ so we try to get to know who the recipient is and who the family is and then we try and look for specific and appropriate things that would be suitable for them.
“It’s not necessarily about the car. Its about a community of people coming together and really supporting a family.”
There is an application process. Families must provide information and they are usually identified by the Executive Director of the Sidney Lions Food Bank, Bev Elder.
“The food bank serves the working poor in this area and they are people just like us, that may not have enough to get by. They have most of what they need but they just need a little bit of help,” said Peters.
Elder said she knows some of the clients who have come through the door who are in need of a vehicle. She suggests they fill out an application. Once they do, Peters will then get more background.
This year Peters met with a group of 10 people to vote — and their decision was unanimous.
“Definitely a well deserving mom that’s just looking out for her family,” said Elder.
Elder said that in the last three years the winner of the car happened to be someone that has used the food bank in the past. She said many don’t need to use their services anymore.
“They just seem to need that little leg up, so it’s definitely a bonus for them and it brightens their Christmas, it brightens our Christmas.”
“Thank you is not enough, thank you is not enough, oh my goodness they’ve been fantastic, this is like winning the lottery,” Nicole said about the generous support of the community.