Mother of three was left severely injured
Thanks to the work of a few Good Samaritans, Mericka Hill of Boutte and her children had a Merry Christmas.
Hill was selected by Today’s Car Care as the recipient of car repairs and a safety inspection – free of charge – as part of its holiday giveaway.
Born out of a desire to help someone in need during the holiday season, Today’s Car Care accepted nominations of people who needed the help.
In Hill’s case, her need stemmed from serious injuries she suffered in a 2013 incident in which she was struck by a car along Old Spanish Trail in Des Allemands.
Hill was walking with her two children from her residence to church when she suddenly noticed a truck driving toward them at a high rate of speed.
In a split second, Hill reacted pushing her children to safety — but she was hit by the truck. She struck the windshield with such force that it fractured her left ankle and right foot, as well as injured her spleen, bladder and kidneys.
Now a mother of three, she is still suffering with complications from that accident and receiving treatment. Her mother, Connie, and family friend Daron Wilson had collaborated to help Hill get a car for much needed transportation. But it needed repairs, which Hill told her mother she’d get done as funds allowed.
Her mother understood the situation.
“As a mother of three, you have to be able to get from place to place,” Connie said. “Sometimes, you won’t be able to find someone who can help with a ride. We knew she really needed this.”
Today’s Car Care provided the solution.
Connie nominated Mericka for the giveaway, and soon the business contacted her and said they had chosen her daughter as the event’s beneficiary.
“We chose her because her story and what she did for her kids was so moving,” said Bailie Bourg, CFO of Today’s Car Care. “Since we are a family business we felt it would be a great opportunity to help another family.”
They let the mother deliver the news to Mericka herself.
“It was excitement and shock,” Hill said of her reaction to receiving word of her repairs. “I was at a loss for words. We had just talked about the need to get (the car) in the shop and get it worked on. I’m so grateful and very appreciative for what they’ve done for my kids and I.”
Connie said her daughter cried when she heard the news.
“They were a godsend,” Connie said. “It was a Merry Christmas for my daughter. I was ecstatic, myself, to hear the news. (The accident) has been such a complete drain on her. She’s got a long way to go, but this really helps.”Hill was also touched by her mother’s gesture to nominate her.
“She said, ‘You’re still there for me after all these years,’” Connie said. “I told her, ‘I’ll always be here. No matter how old you get, you’re still my child and always will be.’”
Hill’s car needed a lot of work, she noted—numerous parts had to be replaced and it took an estimated 10-1/2 hours of work to fully repair.
Additionally, Today’s Car Care, NAPA and Advanced Auto donated parts for the repairs.
Bourg credited NAPA’s Darin Duhon for donating an alternator, belt and battery, and Advance Auto’s Kristy Landry for donating brake pads and tire pressure sensors.
“They deserve a little shout out as well and a ‘thank you’ for having a big heart,” Connie said.
In all, Today’s Car Care installed new spark plugs, as well as did a transmission flush and a coolant flush, changed the oil, installed four new tires and tire pressure sensors, installed new front and rear brakes, repaired the radio, replaced air filters, and installed a new alternator, beltand battery.
Those behind the event didn’t stop there.
When Connie and Mericka went to Today’s Car Care to express their gratitude, there was one more surprise — the staff decided to get Christmas gifts for Hill’s three children.
“Once we announced to our staff who the winner was and her story, they wanted to donate money to help in some way,” Bourg said. “Even other friends and family members donated because they were so moved by her story. Since we already had the parts and labor taken care of, and it was the holidays, we decided giving gifts to her kids would be a great idea.”
Hill said her children were elated.
“To see the look on their faces, it was priceless,” Hill said. “They didn’t expect anything aside from getting our car fixed. We saw the gifts and we were just like, ‘Wow!’ It was so kind of them.”
Bourg said the business plans to continue to pay it forward in the future.
“We decided we will do this every holiday,” she said. “Seeing how much this helped her family inspired us to continue this tradition.”