Nobody could really understand the hardships soldiers and their families go through, unless they are able to experience them first hand. Manhattan Area Technical College chose to recognize one of these families during a presentation held Tuesday morning by giving away a silver muti-passenger Honda van that was refurbished by the college’s Automotive Collision Repair Program students.
The vehicle was donated by State Farm Insurance Insurance Agency and is a part of the National Recycled Ride Programs. Sgt. Kevin Donahue and his wife, Jan, were the lucky recipients of the van and a presentation was held in their honor.
The event began by recognizing all the MATC staff and students who have, or are presently serving in the U.S. military.
Executive Director of the National Auto Body Council, Chuck Sulkala took the podium to speak about the Recycled Rides program. Sulkala said they have given away around 150 vehicles in the program thus far, and hope to give away 500. As far as looking for individuals who are worthy of receiving this great prize, Sulkala says “the big thing that we’re looking for is the ability for the veteran, or soldier, to be able to maintain the vehicle by providing the gas and insurance for it. The last thing we want to do is give someone a vehicle, and help them look at it and say ‘I bet I can turn this around and cash it in’ “.
Sgt. Donahue and his wife were thankful for the vehicle and the recognition for all of his hard work. Donahue said, “a lot more families are more deserving than we are”. His wife added, “he didn’t want to apply until I encouraged him to”.
MATC is one of two active Recycled Rides educational institution programs presently active, that donates a vehicle to a wounded soldier. For more information on the National Recycled Rides program, log onto recycledrides.org.