Businesses give away cars to deserving families


Mike's staff, along with parts supply and insurance companies, gave away 22 cars to deserving families and organizations in the past nine years as part of its "Benevolence Even" program.

The fully-restored cars were written off by each insurance company. All the parts, paint, mechanical inspections, tires and labor came from donations. Applicants write essays describing their needs and a board makes the final decision.

"It's never easy," says Sal Contreras, who oversees the program for Mike Rose and his shops. "We always wish we had more cars."

In a year filled with hard times for everyone, this one was exceedingly difficult. Management, technicians and staff poured through more than 100 applications.

This year, Nicole Forest received a Prius. She is a hard working single mother of three.

The Nissan Sentra went to Kelly and Raymond Houston. He's a Navy Persian gulf veteran and while sleeping on a cross country move to California, someone stole the uHaul with everything they owned.

"We've been borrowing my dad's truck," said Kelly Houston.

Annie Hassell, who is raising two grandkids on her own, drove home in a '06 Kia. She will use to for delivering meals to homebound seniors.

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