Photo: Mykola Sosiukin / Getty Images
63-year-old James Baker had plans to go house hunting on Wednesday with his housing coordinator, as he sat in the passenger seat of her car. But, first they made a pit stop at Boggs Auto Collision Rebuilder's for a surprise he had no idea about.
He was told there was an event being held to thank some local veterans.
Rebecca Edwards, his housing coordinator was his "chauffeur" for the day. He told her that he wished "I had my own car, it doesn't matter what kind... I need a hooptie, a jalopy, anything to get around."
Little did Baker know, the event he was going to was to thank HIM (a veteran) and that he would be receiving his own car.
National Auto Body Council's program, known as Recycled Rides, works with insurers and collision repairs, along with paint and part suppliers to repair and donate cars to those that are in need. Well, Boggs Auto, located off of Route 45 has been participating in the program for the last 15 years. Each vehicle they donated has been around the holiday season.
Community members and local veterans gathered at the shop to surprise Baker on Dec. 19. All guests were welcomed by Vice President of the shop, Jason Boggs, followed by him thanking the veterans for their service.
Everyone was lead to the shop floor where a van was decorated in Christmas wrapping paper, topped with a big bow. Boggs mentioned it was a way of saying thank you in a special way.
Boggs then handed the keys to Baker, when he was shocked and tried fighting the tears back.
Baker said, "I don't believe this... that I got it, that's, I think I'm being pranked. It's overwhelming. I never expected to get anything like this."
Every year, Boggs Auto takes a donated car or one that is deemed totaled by insurance companies, then fixes it and gives it away for free. They work with local organizations to nominate someone who needs and deserves a car. For example, Baker is a U.S. Army Veteran who served in South Korea.
For more on the story and a photo of Baker with his new ride, check out the NJ.com article here. You can even check out the Boggs Auto Facebook page for more photos.