Refurbished cars go to women in need


Branch was one of three women, all raising young children alone, to receive a totally reconditioned car, courtesy of Mike's Auto Body in Pittsburg. This is the eighth yeah the garage has performed this service.

Branch spends three hours a day on busses and BART, getting her herself and her young daughter to school and work.

"Every day I just thank god and I look at my daughter and I know things are going to get better and my prayers were answered," Branch said.

Jyniece Forrest has three young children; she lost her job in the mortgage industry, and then her car died.

Now she will drive a 2005 Nissan.

"I've been doing a lot on my own for a long time and I've never had to ask anyone for anything, and this is great," Forrest said.

Trudy Martinez is raising her two grandchildren. She lost her house to foreclosure earlier this year.

Now she has a shiny silver Toyota.

"It gives me such a renewed sense of hope, that things are getting a little better," Martinez said.

Each of the reconditioned cars had been in an accident before they were donated by insurance companies. All the repair work was done by technicians on their own time.

"It makes you feel really good," car technician Jason Cobb said. "I mean I had goose bumps when they were presenting all these cars to these people, it's amazing."

Each car came with an AAA membership, one year of insurance, a trunk full of gifts and bikes for the kids.

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