CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Christmas came early for U.S. Navy Veteran Ashley Williams, who was surprised with keys to a newly-restored car during an on-ice presentation at the Charlotte Checkers game Friday night.
According to a press release, the car donation from Caliber Collision and GEICO is part of a national program to repair and donate cars to individuals in need of reliable transportation.
Williams served six years in the U.S. Navy where she earned numerous medals and commendations.
Williams, who recently moved to Charlotte, works with Goodwill Industries and has already immersed and dedicated herself to volunteer efforts that help empower women going through hardships and looking for a supportive community. She makes monthly trips to Hope Haven Shelter to drop off donations from throughout the community.
Williams had been doing all of this without a vehicle of her own, relying on public transportation or borrowing cars to get to work and her philanthropic efforts. She was nominated for the car donation by Veterans Bridge Home, a local nonprofit that bridges the gap between veterans and their community.
“There were times where I was on the bus. there were times I did Uber. I even, currently I’m borrowing a good friend’s car,” Williams said.
With a little coaxing onto the ice, Williams unknowingly went to see her new car, thanks to local businesses and Veterans Bridge Home.
“She came here not asking for anything. She came here to give. And so the least thing we could do is give her,” Tommy Rieman, with Veterans Bridge Home, said.
And checking the trunk, she gets a bonus prize.
“And I got an air fryer," Williams said.
“For someone to make that sacrifice. Their time, and their lives not knowing if they’re going to come back home. That speaks volumes,” Rieman said.
The GEICO-donated vehicle was restored by technicians at Caliber Collision who volunteered their personal time to refurbish the vehicle with parts and services donated by Scott Clark Honda.