NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Local veterans struggling to make ends meet receive refurbished cars from Recycled Rides program

Posted at 8:26 PM, Apr 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-04 20:26:43-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Two veterans who are struggling to make ends meet got new rides Wednesday!

The donations were made through the National Auto Body Council's Recycled Rides Program.

Susie O'Kelley and Cheryl Wiggins were unable to afford the repairs on their cars, so Geico donated the vehicles while employees at Hall's Body Shop and Elite Auto Body Enterprise volunteered the time to refurbish them to a like-new condition.

Related: Local Navy vet receives new car from Geico, Hendrick Collision 

O'Kelley and her husband, George, are working hard to maintain a stable family life. Their hardship included a brief separation from their children when they ended up homeless and had to sleep in their car.

Through the help of STOP Inc., the Supportive Services for Veteran Families and Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program, O'Kelley gained needed housing and employment.

Wiggins was honorably discharged from the military after more than a decade of service. In 2015, due to the mounting repair cost that exceeded the value of her 2007 Sentra, she chose to give up her car and use the money to keep her son, Christopher, in Tidewater Community College.

The two women says their newly-renovated cars will allow them to make necessary medical appointments as well as help their families get to school, work and the grocery store.

Click here to learn more about the Recycled Rides program.