ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Collision industry companies team up to repair and donate vehicles through the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program. U.S. Army veteran Thomas Barta says it’s not easy to ask for help, but the car he received Tuesday will allow him to get the help he needs.
“You do your duty and you come back. You don’t expect much. You don’t think about how many people go out of their way to say thank you for your service — whether it’s just a handshake or in the case an amazing car,” said Barta.READ MORE: 2 People Shot, Another Killed Outside Broomfield Walgreens
Barta is combat veteran who served in Iraq in 2003. He battles PTSD and has medical conditions which limit his ability to work full time. Barta was hit by a careless driver who totaled his car, leaving him without any transportation.
He was nominated for the program by his case manager at the VA Medical Center.
The vehicle was provided by Travelers and restored by technicians at Caliber Collision. Mechanics volunteered 140 hours of their personal time to refurbish a car for Barta.READ MORE: Crash On I-70 In Wheat Ridge Causes Large Traffic Backup
“We get the car from either an insurance carrier or rental car carriers and our technicians do the repairs. They’re not paid for it. We don’t pay anyone to any of it. All of the parts and all of the materials are donated to us,” said Jim Frost, Regional Manager of Caliber Collision.
Barta was overwhelmed with emotion when the tarp slid off his newly refurbished 2013 Hyundai Sonata. He hasn’t even touched the gas, but this donation has already moved him.
“It’s pretty moving when people go out of their way to help a vet who’s down on their luck,” said Barta.MORE NEWS: I-70 Eastbound Closed For Fatal Crash East Of Eagle
Over the past seven years, Caliber Collision and its industry partners have donated nearly 350 cars.