As festive as it may be, the holiday season can be a trying one for those struggling financially. And for those dealing with car troubles, the road to a Merry Christmas can feel close to impossible.
But every year, a group of Good Samaritans at Today’s Car Care come together with community members looking out for one of their own to lend a hand to those in need. The Luling shop is holding its annual holiday giveaway contest, in which community members are asked to nominate a person or family in need to receive car repairs and a safety inspection free of charge.
Those offering nominations are asked to detail the reasons as to why they believe their candidate is the best fit for the honor. The business is accepting nominations through its website, email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and in person at the shop, located at 90 Mimosa Ave.
“We ask they tell us a bit about the person and that they can list the kind of repairs that would be needed, if they know,” said Bailie Bourg of Today’s Car Care. “It’s something we started as a way to give back, because we have amazing customers who support us. We do donate to several organizations throughout the year, but we wanted to find a way to do something that really uses our skill set to help someone in our community.”
The shop has held the giveaway in all but one year since 2016, the one year without coinciding with the its move from Boutte to Luling. That year, Today’s Car Care held a car show fundraiser. Coupled with the repair giveaways, it’s added up to nearly $20,000 for local people in need.
“Especially around the holidays, finances can get tight for everybody,” Bourg said. “For people going through job losses, medical bills … people need their cars to get to work.”
For example, in 2017, Mericka Hill of Boutte was chosen, a mother of three who suffered serious injuries in an accident three years earlier, when she was struck by a car 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. Complications from the injuries had compromised her ability to pay to have some much needed repairs done on her vehicle. Her mother, Connie, called the repairs “a godsend.”
It’s the kind of case that makes continuing on with the tradition so rewarding, Bourg said.
“We started off thinking we’d address a few things here and there, but every year when you start doing it, you just want to fix everything you can and you can’t stop. You want to help as much as possible. Our mechanics get behind it, they give their time and effort.”
NAPA and Advance Auto donate parts each year to make the giveaway possible.
“They’re awesome. They donate whatever we need,” Bourg said.
The deadline for entries is Friday, Dec. 13. The winner is set to be announced Friday, Dec. 20.