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"Recycled Ride" given to Depew family to fight poverty

The Netzel family was presented with their refurbished car at Gabe's Collision in East Amherst.
Posted at 6:25 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 18:25:02-05

EAST AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two years ago, the Netzel family was left homeless when father Denis lost his job. They spent the majority of the pandemic inside the Family Promise of Western New York homeless shelter - one of only two shelters in the area that host entire families.

On Friday afternoon - the combined gesture of Recycled Rides, Geico Insurance, and Gabe's Collision left mother Tina in tears - and speechless.

"Thank you. I just want to thank everybody who worked very hard to get me this car," she said - so softly, the room could barely hear her.

Tina's family received a recycled ride, a national program that partners with insurance companies to find used cars, and local auto body shops to fix them up - to donate cars to people in need.

"Cars are so important to getting back on your feet. You can go to work, bring the kids to school, and so much more. Its something we all take for granted," said LuAnn Firestone, the Executive Director of the Family Promise shelter.

While the program is nomination only - if you are need of help, LuAnn recommends calling 211 for any needs - and visiting the Erie County Social services office at 158 Pearl St.