Medical workers, police officer receive car donations

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With COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations at record highs, working on the frontlines during the pandemic is stressful enough without having to worry about how to get to your job.

For four local heroes, commuting to work will now be less challenging. Each received an early holiday present – a shiny, newly restored car from Lewisville-based Caliber Collision.

The vehicle donations are part of Caliber’s ‘Restoring You’ community initiative to provide reliable transportation to medical and healthcare providers and first responders who are on the frontlines of the pandemic. Over the past 12 years Caliber has donated more than 500 cars.

“Caliber’s purpose is to restore the rhythm of life for our customers and those in the communities we serve. These car donations are one way we can thank those who are selflessly serving our community by providing them with the gift of reliable transportation,” said Brent Jones, Caliber Senior Vice President who presented keys to the recipients at the company’s Lewisville-based headquarters.

The vehicle recipients are:

• Michael Diva, a first-year nurse at the Baylor Scott and White T. Boone Pickens Cancer Center where cancer patients who have been exposed to COVID are initially placed. The pandemic has been a baptism by fire for Michael who has to be mindful of not only his own health but also those of his parents who he helps support and live with him. As a nurse, his schedule has to be flexible which is challenging and stressful because of the unreliability of his 2006 Toyota Corolla. Michael received a 2017 Nissan Maxima.

• DeMarcus Turner has served as a Dallas Police Department Officer for 10 years. He and his wife, also a law enforcement officer, have two young daughters and recently welcomed his teenage nephew to live with them. Despite a busy schedule with extra shifts and duties, he makes time to volunteer for Carry The Load and Assist The Officer Foundation. He received a 2017 Nissan Pathfinder to replace his current vehicle which is unreliable and in need of costly repairs.

“2020 has been a real rough year with the pandemic and everything. Us first responders still have to go out there and do our jobs everyday with the caution of the pandemic. Beyond me there’s a lot more people that’s well deserving of this more than I am but I really appreciate it,“ said Turner.

• Samantha Christian is a COVID/ICU nurse at Baylor Scott and White Hospital in McKinney. A single mother with two teenage daughters, Samantha works long hours and is currently using a borrowed car she will soon have to return. Her dedication to patient care last year earned her a DAISY Award for Nursing Excellence. She received a 2018 Nissan Rogue.

“I am humbled and in awe that Caliber would even consider giving me a car. This car will make a big difference in my life, for my family, for me to get to work, and make the stress of 2020 a lot easier,” Said Samantha.

• Amanda Lund works with the nursing staff at Baylor Scott and White in College Station, helping Covid patients stay well, recover and get the support they need to get better. She is a single mother with two children, ages 17 and 15. The family does not have a car, so Amanda walks three miles to work, adding several hours to an already long day, as well as safety concerns walking in the dark when she has to work night shifts and overtime. Amanda received a 2017 Nissan Rogue.

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