Refurbished Cars Gifted to Three Veterans and Single Mother on NABC Day in Palm Springs

Jan. 22, 2024
The presentation was held at the NABC Changing and Saving Lives Golf Fundraiser.

On Wednesday, January 16, three Palm Springs area veterans and a single mother were presented with refurbished donated vehicles, according to a news release.

The National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides Program worked with vehicle donors Allstate, the Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club of Southern California, Hertz, and collision repair partners Fix Auto Cathedral City, Fix Auto Palm Springs, Seidner’s Collision of Fontana, and Loma Linda, who refurbished the vehicles to like-new condition.

The four recipients were:

Jennifer Gutierrez Lopez, nominated by Variety—the Children’s Charity of the Desert, is a recent single mother of two, one of whom has special needs. Ms. Lopez is his full-time caregiver. This reliable car will allow her to travel to her son’s long-distance appointments and better care for her entire family. Her 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe was donated by the Interinsurance Exchange of the Auto Club of Southern California, which has donated more than 75 cars. It was refurbished by Seidner’s Collision Center of Loma Linda, the 35th time it has made a donation of the time and skills of its employees.

Miguel Ahumada, nominated by the Sy Kaplan VA clinic, served four years in the U.S. Navy, during which time he received an award for heroism when he risked his life to save a sailor from an engine fire. He has been a stay-at-home father for his and his wife’s three children. The 2019 Hyundai Elantra he is receiving will replace a 17-year-old unreliable vehicle. Hertz donated the car, one of many it has contributed to NABC Recycled Rides. It was refurbished by Fix Auto Palm Springs.
"I appreciate everything everyone has done,” said Ahumada. “This car is going to make a big difference for my family, especially because my car is so old and not reliable. I really appreciate everyone—thank you all so much.”

Izeyah Torres, a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, was also nominated by the Sy Kaplan VA clinic. He recovered from a period of homelessness and unemployment. He went to school, learned a skill, and found an apartment. Torres now has a good job. The car will make him less reliant on public transportation and the kindness of friends. His 2019 Hyundai Elantra was donated by Allstate and repaired by Fix Auto Cathedral City. Allstate has donated more than 100 vehicles to the program, and Fix Auto Cathedral City has revitalized seven of them.

Frank Abney, Sr. is retired and single. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1971. At the NABC Recycled Rides event, Abney received a 2021 Subaru Outback. This vehicle, donated by the Auto Club and refurbished by Seidner’s Collision in Fontana, will aid him in his daily activities and make it possible for him to get to appointments and grocery shopping, and to visit his son, who lives 80 miles away.

The presentation was held at the NABC Changing and Saving Lives Golf Fundraiser Presented by Hertz at the Westin Rancho Mirage Golf Resort. Palm Springs Mayor Jeffrey Bernstein issued a decree naming January 16 NABC Day in Palm Springs, for the many lives that have been changed there each year as part of the annual NABC Recycled Rides gifting event.

Other partners in the NABC Recycled Rides presentation included Cars for Charity, Advanced Remarketing Services, Copart, Midway Car Rental, Hyundai of Inland Empire, Auto Glass Master, Randy from R&R Dents, Paintless Dent Repair, Hyundai of La Quinta, Big O Tires, and Dent Matters.

About the Author

FenderBender Staff Reporters

The FenderBender staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and collision repair experience.

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