Local Veteran Receives the Gift of a Car for the Holidays

The Giving Coast

Photo: (From l-r) Janet McBride, Goodwill; Cathy Bryant of Streets, Paradise; Todd Hughes, Goodwill; Jeremiah Robinson, Goodwill; Abel Gutierrez; Bill Sterbinsky, SRQ Vets; Greg Cruz, Streets of Paradise; and Richard McDaniel, JFCS

In December, Abel Gutierrez - a veteran who has been through very rough times but has received significant assistance from several area nonprofit organizations - was surprised with the gift of a car by SRQ Vets and the Goodwill Manasota Veterans Services Program team. Gutierrez had moved to Florida with a promising job prospect that did not pan out. He found himself broke and hungry but several area nonprofit organizations helped to get him back on his feet. Gutierrez found shelter at the Salvation Army; housing through JFCS’s Operation Military Assistance Program; furnishings through Streets of Paradise; and job search assistance, clothing vouchers, a monthly bus pass, and much-needed support and empathy from team members at Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program office. The gift of a car – donated by a veteran to SRQ Vets and fixed up by veteran-owned and operated shop Freedom Auto Repair – has already further supported his independence and financial stability. Shortly after receiving the vehicle, he was offered a land surveying job, with more responsibility and better pay, in Clearwater. With his new car, he was able to accept the position and now commutes each day to his new workplace. 

Photo: (From l-r) Janet McBride, Goodwill; Cathy Bryant of Streets, Paradise; Todd Hughes, Goodwill; Jeremiah Robinson, Goodwill; Abel Gutierrez; Bill Sterbinsky, SRQ Vets; Greg Cruz, Streets of Paradise; and Richard McDaniel, JFCS

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