Christmas came a little early for 11 Polk County families who received new, donated vehicles courtesy of the Auto Angels.
Auto Angels is made up of a group of eight body shops from Lakeland and Winter Haven that donate time and services to get donated cars road worthy for deserving families.
"We were able to present 11 cars that were donated that each and every one of us got to do something to whether it was body repairs, mechanical repairs, paint word, whatever," explained David Stewart one of the co-founders of Auto Angels.
He says nearly 300 families applied for cars. "That's the hardest process of all. We have over 270 applications and we have to read each one of those and see what these families' needs are," Stewart said.
Among those who did receive a free vehicle was Marjorie Spires. She has three children and, until now, had to take the city bus to get to work and run any errands.
"That is the best gift ever," Spires said. "I am so happy. I'm feeling very special."
Mitchell Gaskins and his wife received an Isuzu Rodeo. Gaskins said the gift is unexpected.
"Man it's a blessing. It's a blessing. We've been struggling trying to get around, to and from work for like at least six months now, and for us just out of the blue for them to call us and say that they was giving us a car, it's just a blessing," he said.
The Auto Angels presented the vehicles during a special ceremony outside Victory Church in Lakeland. In addition to the 11 families that received donated vehicles four other families received free repairs in order to get their existing cars back on the road.
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