Recycled Rides Recipients Get Keys to Better Life

May 9, 2017

Caring for a sick toddler is an enormous challenge for any young parent. Going to doctors’ appointments, picking up medications and utilizing special services are part of the normal routine. For Meghann Chaudhry, of Topeka, those tasks became extremely difficult because she did not have reliable transportation. That is, until Recycled Rides came along.

“This vehicle is giving me the flexibility I need to get him to medical appointments at Children’s Mercy (in the Kansas City area) without having to rent a vehicle or use a family member’s vehicle when it is not convenient for them,” Chaudhry said. “I’m just thankful and grateful for everything that our community has provided and especially for the Washburn Tech students who worked so hard to put this vehicle together.”

Chaudhry received one of two Recycled Rides presented at a special ceremony on May 2 on the Washburn Tech campus. She received the keys to a refurbished 2011 Chevy Malibu donated by State Farm Insurance. The second recipient, Elijah Salazar, is now the owner of a 2014 Nissan Versa donated by Lewis Collision Center.

“This car is a blessing and will change life for me and my young son,” said Salazar, who works two jobs. “It will help get him to day care,  keep me involved in activities such as Parents as Teachers, and will help me get to work on time and provide more for my family. I can’t explain right now, but it feels really good.”

Recycled Rides partners auto service and auto collision students with instructors and professional mentors in the community to refurbish vehicles, which are awarded to individuals and families in need. Local businesses and individuals also donate parts and supplies to get the vehicles on the road again. In addition to the vehicle, recipients received a bag of car-care products and the promise of a first oil change and check-up.

Washburn Tech was the first college in the nation to participate in the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program. The vehicles presented this month become the 19th and 20th Recycled Rides given by Washburn Tech.