Vernon auto service gearing up to help families in need

Vernon man wants to pay it forward

Brandon Colvin knows what a “game changer” it can be to own a car, especially in the Okanagan. That’s why he wants to give someone in need a hand up this Christmas by gifting a deserving family a reliable car.

As a child growing up in a low income household, Colvin said his family “sometimes” had a vehicle, and it usually wasn’t one you could count on.

“We didn’t have much to our name,” he recalled. “Almost every vehicle we had was given to us or something, and they usually weren’t in very good condition when they were, so we walked a lot.”

Now Colvin, who manages Vernon’s Fountain Tire, has a small family of his own, but he says their circumstances are much different than his were.

“I’ve worked hard to get where I am, but I’ve also been very fortunate,” he admitted.

Now, Colvin says he’s in a position to give back — and that’s exactly what he plans to do.

Earlier this year the Maple Ridge native and his Fountain Tire colleagues purchased a 2008 Pontiac G5 in desperate need of some TLC with the goal of fixing it up and presenting it to a family in the community over the holidays.

The little four-door Sedan will be ideal for a family or a single parent.

“It’s cheap on gas and inexpensive to insure,” Colvin explained.

“The idea is to help a family that’s having a tough time because they’ve got a terrible vehicle. I know how hard it can be to have an unreliable car when the kids have to get to school and people need to get to work — you can’t afford a new car, so you try to fix the old one and it ends up costing more in the long run. You can never get ahead — so we’re thinking this could really be a life changer for someone.”

Though the vehicle is secondhand, a the team of mechanics, technicians and suppliers working on it, will make it look and feel “just like a brand new car.”

“There are a lot of partners involved,” Colvin said.

“Napa Auto Parts is giving me all the parts to make sure it’s safe and reliable. Fix Auto North is going to make sure it looks brand new, and I’ve got a detailer that’s going to work on the inside. The only thing someone is going to have to worry about with this car is putting fuel in it and driving it.”

This is the first time Colvin has done a giveaway of this magnitude, but he says he hopes it won’t be the last.

In the meantime, Colvin and the team are asking Vernon residents to submit their story, or a story of someone they know that could use a bit of help to get their life going in a better direction. They are also looking for donations of non-perishables and gifts to fill the trunk. All of this will be presented to the recipient family in time for Christmas.

Colvin will be accepting submissions via email at xmasproject17@gmail.com until Wednesday, Dec.20. The team will then review all submissions and select a recipient. Please include contact information. For information on where to drop off donations of non-perishables visit Fountain Tire Vernon on Facebook or call (778) 475-0054.

Erin Christie

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