SALINAS, Calif. - Since last year, Central Coast News has teamed up with Malone's Collision Repair to refurbish used cars and give them away to deserving families. Hundreds of nominations poured in.
Thursday marked the third time a car was delivered to an unsuspecting family on the Central Coast.
The Molina family was nominated by Jacob's Heart, an organization that tries to improve the quality of life for children with cancer and ease the difficulties faced by their families.
Victoria Molina has been working hard to take care of her 3-year-old daughter Maria, who is battling leukemia. Recently, their car was stolen. Doctor's appointments are not easy to get to, even with help from volunteers. Maria has to be driven to the Bay Area several times a week. Her life is at risk. The family didn't have the insurance to replace their car and money is tight.
On Thursday, a team of sponsors, friends and supporters gathered at the Molina's Salinas apartment complex to surprise them with a 2008 Hyundai Elantra. The gift was made possible by Malone's Collision Repair, My Dealers, Cal's Motors, P&S Detailing and Cardinale Auto Group.
Other Jacob's Heart parents showed up to show their support for Maria. One mother, Jennifer Watson, said she couldn't imagine not having a car to be able to take her daughter Effy to her cancer treatments.
"It's already so hard and so challenging with the resources and if you take resources away from getting to the hospital for treatment, then that's a lifesaving trip you have to make every month," said Watson. "It's amazing and an incredible program and such a gift for this family in need."
Joe Malone, with Malone's Collision Repair, handed over the keys and paperwork proudly to the Molina parents.
"We just try and reach out and give people a hand up when they are down," said Malone. "I can't imagine what they are going through and if I can give an extra hand and prayer, then I did my part."