CoAuto preps car to give to worthy veteran over the holidays

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Master Technician at CoAuto Jordan Hill looks under the hood of a 1997 Ford Explorer.

In the weeks to come over the holiday season, this car will be given to a local veteran in need of transportation.

Hill has only been on the job at CoAuto for about six months.

From southern California, he says he went to the internet to find a shop in Northern Nevada that would be a good fit.

He stumbled on a website that showed a veteran getting a car right before Christmas.

“Definitely part of what made me interested in working here,” he says.

That website would be CoAuto’s and that giveaway is an annual event.

“Really spoke to me as a pretty amazing thing to do,” says Hill. “And I hadn't really seen anything like that in another shop,” he says.

Each year the auto repair shop receives a donated car from someone who wants to make a difference in a veteran's life.

Earlier in the year a local resident brought the Ford Explorer to CoAuto along with a heartfelt story.

“Another veteran,” says Rochell Mejia, CoAuto Shop Manager of this year’s donor. “He is actually a purple heart veteran. And he really wanted to donate this car because his wife passed away and her wish was to give it to a family in need. Especially another veteran,” she says.

Hill says the crew has taken time to make minor repairs during downtime on the Explorer.

He says it’s practically ready to go with emphasis on winter-driving car components.

He checks the tire pressure and tread on the Explorer—all looks good.

The staff says they haven't had an occasion to talk to former recipients of the car-giveaway—except once.

Mejia says she spoke to one veteran who took home a Prius a couple years back.

The two ran into each other at a Walmart.

“He was doing really good getting around,” she says. “From point A to point B instead of towing them around on this little wagon,” says Mejia of that year’s Veteran who had children he needed to transport.

A wagon was his only method of getting around.

The Veterans Resource Center will select this year’s recipient as the center has in the past.

It will be Jordan Hill’s first time experiencing a life-changing event. An event he helped make possible.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019