Hurricane, W.Va (WOWK) – The back room of the Barnyard BBQ in Hurricane was in a festive mood Friday night, with an angel tree with toys underneath it and Santa talking to little children asking them what they want for Christmas.
However, the Greater Charleston NAPA Autocare Business Development Group was preparing to upstage Old Saint Nick by giving a new car to a family in need of help this holiday season.
“Their car had actually been stolen recently. They were actually in the process of buying a very undependable car off of somebody. . . They were kinda told to put the breaks on that,” said Tom Corder, president Greater Charleston NAPA Autocare Business Development Group.
Corder said this is the fifth time the group has given a car away, but this is their first time giving a car to a family in the Charleston area. The previous four were in Huntington.
He said this particular group of eight autocare owners in the Greater Charleston area was recently put together.
The Charleston Salvation Army helped the group find a family through its Pathway of Hope program, which helps families with children get back on their feet and end the cycle of poverty.
Major Lori Gilliam of the Charleston Salvation Army said it is a joy helping families in need during this time of the year, and this one’s particularly fun because the family was going to be completely surprised.
“They know very little about what they are going to be getting today, so we are very excited. We hope they don’t pass out on us,” said Gilliam.
Monique Bird, Dominick Nuzzo and their two children, who moved to West Virginia about a year ago, were overcome with joy when they were presented the keys to a white 2003 Buick LeSabre. They even had a chance to check it out in the restaurant’s parking lot.
The whole family said this gift is one they definitely won’t be returning and is very much needed.
“It’s going to take a lot of stress out of our lives. The buses, walking in the rain, just keeping warm,” said Bird.
Nuzzo said he works at Home Depot and for him, its been hard getting back and forth to work using buses, and he is looking forward to using the car.
The eight auto repair shops that make up the Charleston group (D&T Auto, Eddies Auto Care, Eddie Tire, ABC Auto Repair, Moore’s Service Center, Almost Heaven, Charleston Fleet Services, Clarks Auto Care) donated time and money to purchase and fix up the vehicle for the family.
“NAPA donates the parts we need to refurbish these cars, and then all the guys pitch in time, work on them and get them roadworthy so people won’t have problems with them for a long time,” said Corder.
He also said the Charleston group will probably donate another car to a family this Summer, and they are looking forward to helping out another family next Christmas.