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LaMettry’s Donates Vehicle to Mother In Need

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Nov. 29, 2012—LaMettry’s Collision Inc., a family-owned multiple-shop operation with seven locations in Minnesota, on Wednesday donated a refurbished 2005 Chrysler Town & Country minivan to a family in need through the National Auto Body Council’s (NABC) 2012 Recycled Rides program.

Recycled Rides is a nationwide program in which collision repair shops, insurers, suppliers and vendors collaborate to refurbish and donate vehicles to families and service organizations in need. Hundreds of vehicles are gifted each year across the country through the program.

LaMettry’s refurbished minivan was presented to Julie Erlandson, a 50-year-old single mother of four children in Minneapolis. LaMettry’s said Erlandson has been a single mother for more than 20 years, and has struggled to make ends meet.

About eight years ago, a baby was left at a local church by two chemically dependent teenage parents. Two years later, those same parents had another child. Erlandson took both of the children home and raised them as her own. She attempted to adopt the two children in order to provide them with education and a stable home life. LaMettry’s said the court system returned the oldest of the two children to the original parents, but allowed Erlandson to adopt the younger one who suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome.

Two years ago, Erlandson became aware of another baby born to young parents who also dealt with chemical addictions. Erlandson provided foster care to the child before formally adopting her last year.

Erlandson now works as a team leader at Feed My Starving Children, earning only a $10 an hour wage. LaMettry’s said she has a 3.5-hour daily commute throughout the Minneapolis metro area to drop her children off at school and day care before heading to work.

“[Erlandson] is determined to provide a good home for the girls, and support her older children to the extent she is able. She has a wonderful heart and is dedicated to helping her own children as well as reaching those starving through her work at Feed My Staving Children,” LaMettry’s said. “She has had difficulty meeting her full time job requirements due to the fact that her car often doesn’t start. A new car would be a tremendous blessing to her.”

Erlandson’s previous vehicle was unreliable. It was held together with wires and duct tape, and did not have heat. It caused Erlandson to use public transportation and walk long distances in order to conduct her daily routine. There were several instances when Erlandson missed work and paychecks because her vehicle would not start.

The vehicle, which was donated to Erlandson at LaMettry’s Lakeville, Minn., shop location, was provided by American Family Insurance. Several other vendors also made donations for the project, including Pam’s Auto, BASF, AAA Auto Salvage, Burnsville Toyota, Choice Auto Rental, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Inver Grove Ford, NAPA Auto Parts, Paradise Car Wash, Park Jeep, Suburban Chevrolet and 3M.

“I want to thank all the vendors who helped make this happen,” said Joanne LaMettry, president of LaMettry’s. “It’s with great pleasure that I present these keys.”

“I’m just so grateful to receive this vehicle. I still can’t believe it’s happening,” Erlandson said. “I’ve been driving a car with no heat. This will help me out in more ways than anyone will ever know. I feel so blessed.”

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